Skip to content
Open the mobile menu
Show the search
Go to my account View your cart
Sycamore Gap Blog 1 | Sycamore Gap Blog 2 | Sycamore Gap Blog 3 | as time goes by
Lucy's vision to create a woodland grows!

Lucy's vision to create a woodland grows!

An artist’s vision to create a woodland in memory of the felled Sycamore Gap tree has come to fruition.

The publicly accessible Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail near Masham, North Yorkshire, will also bring new life to an area of the Swinton Estate devastated by larch tree blight.

As she planted the first saplings in the new woodland, artist Lucy Pittaway spoke of her joy that something positive has come out of the dreadful felling last September of the famous sycamore that had stood alongside Hadrian’s Wall for 200 years.

“Like everyone else I was so saddened to hear about the felling of the tree,” said Lucy. “To now see this new woodland coming to life is wonderful and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped us come this far.”

Based at Brompton-On-Swale, North Yorkshire, and with galleries across the North, Lucy holds the title of Britain’s most popular published artist. Her distinctive style is inspired by family and the countryside and she still recalls the deep impression a visit to the Sycamore Gap had on her as a child.

In the aftermath of the felling, Lucy painted an image of the tree with a Northern Lights backdrop. She vowed to make a donation from each print sold towards creating a legacy woodland and to date over 2,400 have been bought.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, owner of the Swinton Estate, answered the call for anyone with a suitable area of land to come forward and she joined Lucy in planting the first of the new saplings.

“Like many areas of the countryside we have lost so many trees from larch blight and so regenerating the area through this project is a perfect fit,” said Felicity.

“I think we are appreciating more and more the importance of conservation and the positive impact that trees and the countryside have on our well-being.”

Lucy Pittaway's Artwork

The first 600 saplings will be planted during April, mainly sycamore along with oak, rowan, hazel, and other native trees. The estate’s forestry team will then plant hundreds more saplings over the coming months and more mature species from the autumn.

The new woodland will regenerate part of the plantation that surrounds a 200-year-old folly known as the Druid’s Temple. In recent years, the area has lost swathes of trees to a fungal disease phytophthora ramorum that has ravaged trees across Britain and in particular Larch and Ash.

Visitors to the Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail will be able to follow a pathway formed by chippings from the felled larch trees on a woodland walk which will also feature artistic installations, areas to relax, and education boards.

“I hope this is an area that can be used for relaxation for generations to come,” said Lucy. “If it can inspire people’s interest in art and the countryside then the legacy of the Sycamore Gap tree will be a positive one.”