An artist who gained acclaim after she painted the Sycamore Gap following its felling last year has fulfilled her vision of planting a woodland in its memory.

Lucy Pittaway, based in Brompton on Swale, near Richmond, announced in November of last year announced that a tree would be planted after every sale of her painting of the Northumberland tree surrounded by the Northern Lights after it was felled on September 27.

Lucy, who has been a professional artist for 11 years, was initially prompted to draw the Sycamore Gap tree by her children but was then overwhelmed by requests on social media.

The Northern Echo: Lucy Pittaway with Felicity Cunliffe-Lister.Lucy Pittaway with Felicity Cunliffe-Lister. (Image: Lucy Pittaway)

To date, 2,400 copies of the painting have been bought and now the publicly accessible Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail near Masham, North Yorkshire, will also bring new life to an area of the Swinton Estate.

In November, Lucy said: “After I heard what had happened, I was really upset by it and thought it was such a shame. I felt the same way most people did about it.

“I went to pick my children up from school on the day I found out, and they said ‘Mum, you should paint it, people would love for you to paint something like that.’

“I wasn’t so sure at first, as I didn’t want it to be seen in a poor light. But, then we were flooded with requests from the public who were asking us if we had any pictures of Sycamore Gap or whether I’d consider painting it.

“I thought, so many people want this and are asking for this, but I wanted to do it and be able to give back somehow.”

The first saplings of the new trail have now been planted, and Lucy has spoken of her joy.

The Northern Echo: Lucy Pittaway with head forester at the Swinton Estate, Brian Lofthouse.Lucy Pittaway with head forester at the Swinton Estate, Brian Lofthouse. (Image: PR)

She 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.

“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.”

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.

The Northern Echo: Lucy Pittaway with her Sycamore Gap painting.Lucy Pittaway with her Sycamore Gap painting. (Image: PR)

“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.”


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The first 600 saplings to be planted this month are 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.

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