These beeches are by the entrance to a local wood, and are the only beech that I have seen there (it’s mainly sycamore and birch, with some ash).

I think they were probably part of a hedge, although the rest of the grown-out hedge line on the wood’s edge is definitely ash. All of the trees – ash and beech – in that hedge line are noticeably older than the plantation trees within the wood itself, which I have been told was planted in the 1950s. The group of beech trees aligns with another, perpendicular hedge, which is now dominated by hawthorn. Perhaps this hedge was once beech; perhaps the trees were planted as a marker. Whatever, their prominent position and distinctive grey bark makes them stand out.

Beech, with their smooth skin and supple joints, often encourage anthropomorphic interpretations. These trees, clinging to the steep bank with their convoluted roots, appear to be having a discussion. I wonder what the subject is?

The Fellowship, 12 x 16 inches, ink on kaolin-coated board

The Fellowship

12 x 16 inches, ink on kaolin-coated board

£310 framed

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