|Links to Archived News Items
What's New November 2016
More; Llangasty Tal-y-llyn Lane; Norton; Pant-y-Cored; Peterchurch (Hinton Court); Presteigne; St Fagans; Tedstill; Vowchurch; Wormbridge; Yarsop Lane (Nash Wood) - Paul Wood
Ellon Castle – Charles Henderson
Bacton; Byton; Capel-y-ffin; Capel-y-ffin Baptist Chapel; Ewyas Harold; Kenderchurch, nr Pontrilas; Kilpeck; Llanbadarn Fawr (Crossgates); Llanbedr Ystradyw; Llandefalle; Llanerfyl; Llanfeugan; Llangasty Tal-y-Llyn; Llanthony – churchyard; Llanthony Road; Llanveynoe churchyard; Llanwenarth Citra; Myndtown; Newtown/Dolfor Road; Norbury; Peterchurch; Snead; St Devereux; Talachddu; Talgarth; Yarpole - Paul Wood
Elcho Castle; Glamis Castle; Monifieth (The Grange); Murthly Castle; Pitmedden House; Robert the Bruce’s yew; Tyninghame House; Whittinghame – Charles Henderson
One of the yews at Llanfeugan has for many years been used as storage space and workshop. This is not only an inappropriate use of churchyard space, it is no way to treat an old yew. The recent removal of most of this material has allowed us for the first time to measure the tree and discover it to be Veteran, with a likely age of 500+ years. This is one of the most impressive yew sites in Wales, boasting no fewer than 2 ancient, 7 veteran and 2 notable yews.
At Rycote in Oxfordshire the ancient male yew has developed a single female branch. This was noted and photographed byDavid Alderman.
After observing a young yew at Presteigne, Paul Wood found photographs from the 1890s and 1940s showing that a large yew once grew on the same spot. Further searching uncovered sections of the original old yew's stem, from which the new tree has grown.
What's New October 2016
Technology is a wonderful thing when it runs smoothly. The last few months have proved frustrating while the Ancient Yew Group website has changed its server. It is hoped that the problems have now all been ironed out.
Our first act is to welcome Paul Wood as a new full member of the Ancient Yew Group. This is in recognition of his considerable input in the last year or so. In the Tree Register’s Newsletter No. 24 an article called Marker and boundary yew is based on Paul’s discoveries. The following is taken from the article: “Paul has a background in both farming and archaeology and has always been aware of the presence of yews in the countryside, whether in a field or the garden of a 17th century cottage. Over the years he has noted down the location of yews seen on his travels and is now beginning to visit and document. His first year’s contribution to yew tree knowledge was to record no fewer than 30 new veterans (yews with a likely age of 500+).” Since he described this as the ‘tip of the iceberg’ we eagerly await more of his discoveries. He also visits and reports on churchyard yews. Paul introduces himself on the About Us-Introduction webpage. http://www.ancient-yew.org/s.php/introduction/1/1
What’s New June 2016
Bronllys; Cantref; Cathedine; Cilmery; Colva; Glasbury; Glascwm; Llanafan-Fechan; Llanddetty; Llanddetty Hall Farm; Llanddew; Llanddewi’r Cwm; Llandefaelog Fach; Llandefaelog-tre’r-graig; Llanelieu; Llanfeugan; Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn; Llanfrynach; Llangorse; Maesyminis; Upper Chapel – Paul Wood
Watermillock – Toby Hindson/Lesley Elphick
Staunton (Forest of Dean); Sutton Veny – Peter Norton
Eastham – Eirian Evans
Upper Chapel – Bryony Smith
Yester House – David Alderman
Llanywern - Paul Wood
What’s New May 2016
We report damage to three yews: at Uffculme House in Kings Heath, Birmingham, and at Upper Chapel (Dyffryn Honddu) and Penegoes in Powys.
What’s New April 2016
For many years the Ancient Yew Group has been building its database of yews, which currently has 4,750 entries. The oldest yews are ‘Ancients’ with a likely age of 800+ and ‘Veterans’ with a likely age of 500+. These can now be located on an extraordinary map created with the Conservation Foundation using information only available on our database and website. Click on Yew Map at the top left of this page.
The majority of our oldest yews are found in churchyards, as revealed in the figures below:
Many of these sites, particularly in Wales, contain more than one ancient or veteran yew and the number of individual trees for which information is available on the map is as follows:
England - churchyards: 166 ancient yews and 367 veteran yews
England - outside of churchyards: 50 ancient yews and 309 veteran yews
Of the 12 locations recorded in Scotland, only Fortingall and Dryburgh Abbey are ecclesiastical sites.
Llanwrin; Machynlleth; Penegoes – Paolo Bavaresco
Bryngwyn; Bryngwyn - Rhosgoch Lane - Paul Wood
What’s New March 2016
Bishopstone; Crossway; Brilley; Limebrook; Madley; Moccas churchyard; Tyberton – Paul Wood
Draycott-in-the-Moors; Glasbury; Glyn Ceiriog; Grendon Bishop; Little Sodbury Manor; Nackington; Rainham; Seal; Seale; Shorne; Speldhurst; Walberton; Winscombe Vicarage - Tim Hills
Bleddfa; Bodcott Farm; Brilley; Burghill; Llanfihangel Rhydithon; Llangunllo; Moccas Court; Stapleton; Staunton on Wye; Winforton; Yazor – Paul Wood
Cwmcarvan; Helmdon; Llansoy; Marston St Lawrence; Pen-y-clawdd; Thorpe Mandeville; Winterbourne Dauntsey; Wivelsfield – Peter Norton
Aberhafesp – Geoff Garlick
Chilstone; Crossway, Brilley; Glasbury old church
What's New February 2016
Historic Churchyard Yews – the conservation and repair of Ecclesiastical buildings
Toby Hindson was commissioned to write an article for this annual publication (2015). This recognises that churchyards too are historic, with many containing one or more yew trees that might be coeval with the building. His article begins:
"Many of the yews that exist in our churchyards are widely held to pre-date the Christian consecration of the church site. This exaggeration has its roots in Victorian guidebooks and wishful local histories. Such yews do exist in British churchyards, but investigations by the Ancient Yew Group (AYG) show that while the myths surrounding them are many, pre- Christian yews themselves are relatively few."
Toby Hindson has been working on the question of ageing the yew with particular reference to its specific morphology, and now with the kind assistance of others has a series of papers in preparation which are aimed at arboricultural journals. These will deal with issues like the shortcomings of the theories currently used by others in aging and assessing yews, and a new and more specie appropriate theory and methodology of assessment. These works will be able to underpin a more accurate ageing system.
It is a commonly known and understood phrase that pictures speak a thousand words. Paul Greenwood introduces a series of videos in which he lets the yew ‘speak for itself’. They can be found by clicking on the link above or under Yew Articles → Non Churchyard Yew → Paul Greenwood-Yew on Yewtube
Eccles Green; Hyatt Sarnesfield Farm; Norton Canon hedge; Sarnesfield, A480; Weobley, Hereford Road – Paul Wood
Capel-y-ffin Baptist Chapel; Leigh – Tim Hills
Farlow Glebe; Knighton-on-Teme; Knighton-on-Teme Marker Yew; Loughton; Shirley – Tim Hills
Burford; Wormsley – Paul Wood
Maesmynis – Geoff Garlick
Eastham - Melanie Carlile
What’s New – January 2016
Managing your yew tree - Russell Ball
Ancient Yew Group member Russell Ball and the Conservation Foundation have teamed up to produce this video for church wardens and others who find themselves responsible for this priceless national resource. Nowhere else in the world is it possible to find such a large number of ancient trees so closely associated with a sacred space. The Ancient Yew Group has recorded no fewer than 900 churchyard yews in England and Wales considered to have an age of 500 years plus. Of these 270 are thought to have an age that exceeds 800 years. A truly unique and priceless resource.
On many occasions during the lifetime of a 500 year old (veteran) or an 800 year old (ancient) yew, decisions will have been taken regarding the best way to manage the tree. This will have usually been to ‘leave alone unless absolutely necessary’. While that remains true today, there are occasionally times when intervention is needed. This video covers those occasions with common sense advice on issues ranging from the treatment of ivy to looking after the root system.
We are the present custodians of trees planted and cared for over many centuries, from those 500 year old trees planted in the Middle Ages, the 800 year old trees planted by the Normans, even older specimens planted by Saxons and early Welsh saints, with the possibility that some might even pre-date Christianity.
There is simply no excuse for us to fail in the duty of care we owe to these remarkable yews.
The item is located in both the Church of England and Church in Wales webpages.
The following papers can be read in Forest Systems, a journal of the Instituto Nacional de Investigacion y Technologia Agraria y Alimentaria
Introduction to the special section TAXUS Xavier Garcia, Pere Casals, Jordi Camprodon
Response of European yews to climate change: a review Peter Thomas, Xavier Garcia-Marti
Geographic consistency in the seed dispersal patterns of Taxus baccata L. in the Iberian Peninsula Jessica E. Lavabre, Daniel García
Restoration of European yew (Taxus baccata L.) in Mediterranean mountains: importance of seedling nursery fertilization and post-planting light levels Juan L. Nicolás Peragón, Luis F. Benito Matias, Jaime Puértolas Simón
Forest structure of Mediterranean yew (Taxus baccata L.) populations and neighbor effects on juvenile yew performance in the NE Iberian PeninsulaPere Casals, Jordi Camprodon, Antonia Caritat, Ana I. Rios, David Guixé, Xavier Garcia-Marti, Santiago Martín-Alcón, Lluis Coll
Yew matriarchies of the Sierra de Francia. Dynamics and ecology of recently identified Yew populations in the Central Iberian Mountain Range (Sistema Central) Prudencio Fernández-González, Antonio Fernández-Morcuende, Enrique García-Gomariz, M. José Rodríguez-Rivas, Esteban Sánchez-Amador, Fernando Vasco-Encuentra
Growth-climate relationships at yew and wild service trees on the eastern edge of their range in Europe Anna Cedro, Bernard Cedro
Taxus globosa Schltdl. (Mexican yew) and Taxus baccata L. (European yew): intra and interspecies analysis of taxol content and biological activity according to different sources Lidia Osuna-Torres, Xavier García-Martí, Elsa Ventura-Zapata, Javier López-Upton, Alejandro Zamilpa-Alvarez, Manases González-Cortázar, Maribel Herrera-Ruiz, Nadia Tapia-Barrera
Bobbing; Charing Heath – Cliff Hansford
Hannington; Winterslow – Peter Norton
Thornton Castle – Judy Dowling
Aston Botterell-field – Paul Wood
Boughton Aluph – Jonathan Cable
Boughton Malherbe – Stephen Young
Eastry – Tim Hills
Mariners Hill, near Westerham – Owen Johnson
Otterbourne; Shaftesbury – Peter Norton
Throwley – Cliff Hansford
How you can support this web site
Contribute to the web site. Send us latest information or archive material about old yews you have visited.
If you have seen or written a yew related item that might be of interest we could consider publication on our Articles page. All work that appears on this web site is protected as far as possible from misuse, but contributors need to be aware that there is always a small risk of submitted work appearing elsewhere. Should this arise we would not be able to provide funds to seek legal redress but would of course give our written support.
Report yews that do not appear in the Gazetteer, whether in churchyard, woodland, hedgerow, parkland or private estate. There is always a chance that you have discovered a significant undocumented ancient yew.
Many of the yews documented in the gazetteer have not been seen for several years. If you visit a site and would like to send us brief details of the tree\'s appearance or state of health, your up to date observations can be added to our data base and would appear in the Gazetteer.
Please let us know if you discover inaccuracies in any part of the web site.
If you live near to a documented yew site you might consider nominating yourself to send us a brief report on a regular basis (every 6 months or so). We would like eventually to have a named person to report on every ancient, veteran and significant yew site.
You can also support this web site financially by joining The Tree Register or donating on-line in their shop. Quote specifically that your donation or Membership is for the Ancient Yew Group web site. Money raised will help cover the web site costs and be used to pursue ‘good practice’ projects. Donate Here