Harrogate gallery owner creates woodland in memory of Sycamore Gap tree
Apr 9, 2024
Lucy Pittaway with her Sycamore Gap Tree painting

An artist with a gallery in Harrogate has created a woodland in memory of the felled Sycamore Gap tree.

Lucy Pittaway painted an image of the famous tree with a Northern Lights backdrop after being moved by its destruction in September.

In December she vowed to plant a tree for every print sold and sought the help of a landowner to use the trees to create a public woodland. Almost 2,400 paintings have been bought so far.

The newly created Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail near Masham will be publicly accessible and aims to bring new life to an area of the Swinton Estate devastated by larch tree disease.

Visitors to the trail will 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.

Lucy Pittaway at the easel with her Sycamore Gap Tree painting.

Ms Pittaway, whose Harrogate gallery is on James Street, said:

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

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, owner of the Swinton Estate, answered the call for the help of a landowner and she joined Ms Pittaway in planting the first of the new saplings.

Ms Cunliffe-Lister said:

“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, 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 (left) with Swinton Estate owner Felicity Cunliffe-Lister.

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 many trees to the fungal disease phytophthora ramorum that has ravaged trees across Britain.

Ms Pittaway added:

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