Sycamore Gap felling inspires artist to revive North Yorkshire woodland on Swinton Estate

A nostalgic artist from North Yorkshire who painted a picture of the felled Sycamore Gap tree has used the prints she sold to fund a new woodland.

Lucy Pittaway who has fond memories of visiting the Sycamore Gap as a child wanted to create a legacy in its memory.

Lucy said: “Like everyone else I was so saddened to hear about the felling of the tree.”

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This inspired her to take action and paint a picture of the tree with the Northern Lights behind it.

Lucy with her painting of Sycamore GapLucy with her painting of Sycamore Gap
Lucy with her painting of Sycamore Gap

After vowing to make a donation from each print sold towards creating a legacy woodland, she was inundated with orders. To date nearly 2,400 have been bought.

When Lucy put out a call for anyone with suitable land to come forward to plant the saplings, Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, owner of the Swinton Estate, in Masham North Yorkshire got in touch.

“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.

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“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.”

Swinton EstateSwinton Estate
Swinton Estate

Mainly sycamore along with oak, rowan, hazel and other native trees will be planted to regenerate part of the plantation which surrounds the 200-year-old folly Druid’s Temple.

The first 600 saplings will be planted this month (April).

Lucy said: “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.”

The new woodland is not only going to pay tribute to the much loved Sycamore Gap but also it will replace trees which have died due to a fungal disease phytophthora ramorum that has ravaged trees across Britain and in particular Larch and Ash.

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Lucy with Swinton Estate Head Forester Brian Lofthouse.jpegLucy with Swinton Estate Head Forester Brian Lofthouse.jpeg
Lucy with Swinton Estate Head Forester Brian Lofthouse.jpeg

The estate’s forestry team will then plant hundreds more saplings over the coming months and more mature species from the autumn.

The pathway itself will be formed by chippings from the felled larch trees to make a woodland walk which will include artistic installations, areas to relax and educational boards.

“I hope this is an area that can be used for relaxation for generations to come,” added 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.”

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