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Help Find an Old Yew

FIND and RECORD an OLD YEW

  • In most counties there are yew sites in need of verification.
  • The locations and descriptions are taken from a variety of written sources, some as long ago as the late 18th century. While some give precise details of location and a description of the tree/s to be found at the site, others are more vague and might take some tracking down. All available information to help locate each tree has been included.
  • At some of the sites the yew/s might no longer exist. This too is valuable information and adds to our knowledge of how many ancient yews have been lost in recent years.
  • The county lists will be regularly updated, both with the addition of new sites and the removal of sites once they have been verified

WHAT to RECORD

  • If there are yews at the named place, be as precise as possible as to their location, especially if it is not in a churchyard. In England and Wales approximately two thirds of the locations are churchyards or former ecclesiastical sites, while most of the Scottish sites are non-churchyard.
  • If recording a churchyard yew, note where the tree is in relation to the church, which is usually aligned E/W with the tower at the west end.
  • Be aware that it is not necessarily a large girthed tree that denotes great age. Read the article Fragmented Yews on the Churchyard Yews web page. The trees illustrated here show the extraordinary variety of appearance that old yews might present. Look out particularly for trees or fragments of trees that are hollow, hollowing, gnarled or convoluted – trees that have the appearance of great age. The less like a standard solid cylindrical trunk, the more significant your find is likely to be.
  • It is possible for the tree you measure to be of smaller girth than its historical recording. This might be because it has lost parts of its trunk since originally recorded.
  • Take several girth measurements – with one at the tree’s narrowest point. If the tree has historical measurements recorded at given heights, remeasure at the same heights if possible. This provides invaluable information about growth rates.
  • Photographs, especially of the trunk, provide vital evidence, and can back up written descriptions.
  • Occasionally the yew/s will turn out to be Irish Yews! There is no need to measure these.
  • Where a known planting date has been given and there are several yews in the churchyard, it is important to try and establish which yew the planting date refers to. If in doubt measure all the yews.
  • Some yews are on private sites. Let owners know that they can determine how they want their tree to be recorded. If they do not want the site to be identified, it can be listed under the name of the nearest village/town, or if the site is especially sensitive it could be called for example: Herefordshire-Private location.

WHAT to do with your INFORMATION

  • Send it to Tim, Ancient Yew
  • All trees you report will be stored on our data-base. Trees that fit into the categories of Ancient, Veteran or Notable will also appear on our yew Gazetteer web page.
  • Information and photographs about any of these sites will be credited to the finder.

Click on the following county names to view historical references of yew trees to re-discover.

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Aberdeenshire
Angus
Argyll and Bute
Ayrshire
Berkshire
Buckinghamshire
Cambridge
Ceredigion
Cheshire
Conwy
Cumbria
Denbighshire
Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
Dumfries and Galloway
Edinburgh
Fife
Flint and Wrexham
Gloucestershire
Greater London
Gwynedd and Anglesey
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Ireland
Isle of Man
Kent
Lanarkshire
Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
Monmouthshire
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland and Durham
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Pembrokeshire
Perth and Kinross
Powys
Shropshire
South Wales
Staffordshire
Stirlingshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Sussex
Warwickshire
West Midlands
Wiltshire
Worcestershire
Yorkshire