A North Yorkshire artist's vision of a project to plant thousands of trees on the back of her memorial painting of the Sycamore Gap is taking shape.

Over 2,600 trees and counting are continuing to be planted on the Swinton Estate near Masham in North Yorkshire to create the Lucy Pittaway woodland trail in memory of the Sycamore Gap.

The trail was dreamed up by Lucy herself, an artist based in Brompton on Swale who painted Northumberland's famous Sycamore Gap after it was felled following a barrage of requests from customers.

The Northern Echo: Lucy Pittaway.Lucy Pittaway. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Eager to "give something back", Lucy pledged that for every copy of her painting sold, she would plant one tree and part of the profits from the original copy would be donated to the woodland trust. 

So far, around 600 trees of oak, rowan, hazel and other varieties have been planted thanks to a collaboration with the Cunliffe-Lister family, who own the Swinton Estate.

Now, as the woodland continues to take shape, Lucy said during a visit to the site on Monday (April 15) that the whole experience has been "beyond her wildest dreams". 

The Northern Echo:


"I am so proud of this whole project - it has really been beyond my wildest dreams. When I first did the painting, I didn't expect any of this to happen.

"We had been inundated with requests to paint it and it did take me some time to agree to paint it. When I did agree, I was adamant that we had to give something back.

"I did think it would be a few hundred trees initially, I never thought we would get into the thousands!"


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As a homage to the felled Sycamore Gap, the 300 metre trail is set to start and end with sycamore trees and the path is to be made out of recycled wood chippings as part of a sustainability effort.

The Northern Echo: Mark Cunliffe-Lister owner of the Swinton Estate Mark Cunliffe-Lister owner of the Swinton Estate (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Owner of the Swinton Estate, Mark Cunliffe-Lister, said: "This is all about putting something back into nature from something that has sadly been lost. On the Swinton Estate, we have forestry and we have also had a tree planting programme.

"We've been delighted to fit this project into the programme."