On the wooded slope of a valley that sweeps away from my home and gallery in Thixendale, grows one of England’s rarest species: a magnificent old elm tree.
This big, beautiful, tree is one of just a handful of living elms left in the country. At one time these grand trees dominated the English landscape. But more than 60 million were killed in an epidemic of Dutch Elm Disease that all but obliterated the species.
At this time of year, with its leaves all gone, you can really appreciate the beauty of the tree skeleton of this particular elm. It has branches that twist and sweep gracefully to the ground topped by a thick thatch of twigs.