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What`s New – December 2012

Peter Norton has completed a survey of The Churchyard Yews of Dorset. It is found at Church of England - County Surveys Peter Norton -Dorset Survey. 366 sites were visited for this survey.
Wim Peeters has taken up the challenge of translating the reports of Eibenfreunde’s 2006 field trip to Southern England. His translations are found in the About us - Eibenfreunde webpage. The first includes visits to Chilton Condover, Danebury Hill Fort and Hillier Gardens. The second, to Kingley Vale, also appears on the Survey of England's Most Important Woodlands on the Yew Articles page.     
New sites:
Siccaridge Wood – Andy McGeeney
New photos/information: 
Shining Cliff Wood - Andy McGeeney
St Mary Bourne - Peter Norton
Bignor: Capel-y-ffin: Leeds: Loose: Mamhilad: Ulcombe - Wim Peeters
The Yew Gazetteer introduction is out of date. The 1300 sites for which brief details are available has increased to more than 2000. The number of location photographs has increased from 640 to more than 1500. The 1500 images of trees has increased to more than 4500. This page will be corrected in the new year and a full list of contributors published. 

December 2012

What`s New – November 2012

Yews in the churchyards of Asturias, northern Spain Tim Hills visits 23 sites in northern Spain.  
Norbury Park and Fetcham Downs are a short distance from Druids Grove. Although the yews here do not reach the vast old age of some of the Druids Grove specimens, Peter Norton’s survey has uncovered many notable yews as well as some veterans on an earth bank which marks a parish boundary. 
Churchyard Yews in the Dioceses of Derby and Gloucester
Details of the churchyard yews in the Dioceses of Derby and Gloucester have been added to the Church of England Diocesan survey page. Surveys of Bristol, Chester, Lichfield, Rochester and Southwark have been updated.
New sites:
West Meon - Peter Norton
New photos/information: 
Burrington: Chewton Mendip: Clun - Tim Hills
Clanfield: Droxford churchyard: West Liss - Peter Norton

November 2012

What`s New – October 2012

With the inclusion this month of Peter Norton’s survey of Newlands Corner/Merrow Downs, information about three of the four most significant yew woodlands in England is now available. When each tree in this survey is allocated its status as ancient, veteran or notable it is likely that there will be at least 30 veterans at this site as well as a handful of ancient yews.  
Researcher Toby Hindson has been studying The Borrowdale Yews in Cumbria, immortalised as the ‘Fraternal Four’ by Wordsworth.     
New sites:
Kinver Edge – Don Morton/Paul Greenwood
Abercorn – Stuart McHardy
New photos/information: 
Farway – David Colman
Hyssington – Rob McBride
Hartley Witney: Minstead – Peter Norton
Sutton – Wim Peeters
Upper Breinton - Edwin Pretty


What’s New – September 2012

Shropshire's Churchyard Yews - more than 200 years ago
More than 200 years ago Revd. Edward Williams produced watercolour paintings of Shropshire’s churches. As well as being an accomplished draughtsman, he was a renowned botanist. This combination means that his record of Shropshire’s parish churches has become much more, giving us insights into the appearance of some of Shropshire’s churchyard yews up to 220 years ago.    
New photos and updated information
Acton Beauchamp: Acton Scott: Bettws-y-Crwyn: Chewton Mendip: Harley: Kenley: Munslow: Stanford Bishop – Tim Hills
Amberley: Coldwaltham: Dartington: Fittleworth: Long Sutton: Mamhead: Stopham: Tillington: Upton Grey: Woodcott – Peter Norton
Megginch Castle – Owen Johnson
New sites
Castle Huntley – Judy Dowling
Greywell: Wootton Fitzpaine - Peter Norton


September 2012

What’s New - August 2012

The Great Yew Forests
Richard Williamson wrote The Great Yew Forest – the natural history of Kingley Vale in 1978. Kingley Vale, Sussex, is one of only four sites in England that can truly be given the accolade “Great Yew Forest”. The other three are Druids Grove in Surrey, Newlands Corner/Merrow Downs in Surrey and Great Yews in Wiltshire. 
While it has always been know that these forests contained a mixture of ancient, veteran and notable yews, the number and status of individual trees has been poorly documented.  In April we published Peter Norton’s detailed and thorough survey of the largest yews at Kingley Vale alongside Toby Hindson’s “investigation in growth rates” that was made possible by the survey.     
This month we publish details of the most significant yews to be found at Druids Grove, following more painstaking field work, this time from Peter Norton and Hugh Milner. Thirty five individual yews are noted, with photographs of twenty seven.
The Newlands Corner/Merrow Downs area has also been thoroughly surveyed during the last two months and 49 individual trees will be reported on during the autumn.
All of these sites are in public ownership. The fourth is Great Yews in Wiltshire, and permission will be sought from the landowner to carry out a similar survey. These are four rare woodland sites and an inventory of the exceptional yews they contain is long overdue.  

August 2012

What's New - July 2012

2 new articles

Peter Norton reports on the yews of Black Wood in Hampshire.

Tim Hills reports on a line of old yews growing alongside a little used country lane near the Gloucestershire village of Tarlton.

July 2012

What’s New – June 2012

The Churchyard Yews of Wiltshire
During the past 3 years Peter Norton has been recording churchyard yews in Berkshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire. His surveys followed the course of the major rivers and their catchment areas and this work has already been published on our website.
With so much information already gathered his next step has been to complete a survey of the county of Wiltshire. This appears on a new webpage: "Wiltshire Churchyard Yew Survey". 
He has now completed gathering data for the county of Dorset and this will be published later in the year. 
Yews at Crowhurst Church in Sussex
There are three old yews in this churchyard, the most significant of which was first measured by John Aubrey in 1680. This research paper by Toby Hindson and Lesley Elphick combines historical research, arboricultural references and analysis. We look forward to the day when all of our ancient and veteran yew sites are as well documented.  
Nails in yew trees
We are finding an increasing number of yews with nails hammered into their trunks. The position of these nails suggests that they are being used by somebody who is recording girth over a period of time to learn about growth rates. This is not the work of anyone in the Ancient Yew Group, and we do not approve of the practice. I have been contacted by a church warden in Worcestershire, who removed nails from their yew three years ago only to find that they have recently reappeared. Apart from the unsightly ooze from the wounds, there is a health and safety concern and the matter is being referred to their Diocesan Advisory Committee. They will be asking that the DAC advises all of their churches so affected to remove the nails from their yew trees. 

June 2012

What’s New – May 2012

New Article
In April we published Peter Norton’s comprehensive survey of the oldest yews at Kingley Vale.
This survey made it possible for an examination of the growth rates of the largest yews at this site. This month we are able to publish Toby Hindson’s investigation: Old Taxus Baccata specimens at Kingley Vale near Chichester.
New sites
Adlestrop (veteran) – Lin Carter
East Winterslow – Ashley`s Copse: Stockwood – Peter Norton
Burton Agnes: Hayton: Heslington: Rufforth – Tim Hills
New photos
Bicknoller: Claverton: Combe Florey: Stoke Abbott: West Milton – Peter Norton
Stowe, Gloucestershire - Tim Hills


May 2012

What`s New – April 2012

Kingley Vale survey
Peter Norton has completed a comprehensive survey of the oldest yews at Kingley Vale, including grid references, photographs and measurements. His thoroughness has uncovered an elusive ancient specimen, as well as recording 20 veterans and a large number of notable yews.   
The Gazetteer entries have been altered to incorporate this new information 

New articles 

Brockley Yews – the unexpected discovery of a centuries old bowling green in the heart of a thickly wooded area - surrounded by old yews - Tim Hills
4 accounts have been added to the Lost Yews page:
The Cilmery Yew – felled in 2009
A yew at Cefnllys – burnt down in 2006
The Sanderstead Yews – one felled in 1962, another in 2004
The Llanlleonfel Yew – felled in 1999
New sites:

Farley Green – Ancient Tree Hunt
Avening: Shipton Moyne: Tidenham - Lin Carter
Wortley Hall – Judy Dowling
Boningale –Tim Hills
Bramshott: Osmington: Stinsford: Up Cerne: Upper Froyle – Peter Norton
New photos/information:
Shipton Moyne – Lin Carter
Cefnllys, Llanfaredd, Llanfihangel-nant-Melan – Tim Hills
Myndtown – Rob McBride
All Hallows old graveyard: Alton priors: Kingley Vale: Tisbury: Warminster - Peter Norton


April 2012

What's New - March 2012

A crown reduction was carried out on the Caynham Yew in 2012. We have highlighted the work carried out by David Alviti as an example of good practice.
In January 2012 the ancient yew at Llanfoist was brought down by storm force winds. A single branch growing close to the ground has survived, and it is hoped that the offspring of this ancient female tree will be allowed to survive and flourish. An example of this can be seen at Aldworth, where a new branch at the ground has developed into a small tree during the 36 years since the tree was brough down in a storm in 1976.       
New sites:
Shipton Moyne – Lin Carter
Bramshott: Osmington: Up Cerne: Upper Froyle - Peter Norton
New photos and information: 
Bitton – Lin Carter
Crickadarn: Llandefalle: Llanstephan: Upper Chapel – Tim Hills
Bentley: Binsted: Cerne Abbas: Didling: HWarblington: West Kington: West Monkton – Peter Norton

March 2012

What’s New – February 2012


2 new articles by Tim Hills appear this month. In Staffordshire the yews at Himley Hall are featured, and in Oxfordshire a circle of yews is recorded at Tiddington.  

New photos
Castle Cary: Funtington: Mid Lavant: North Marden: Pilton: West Pennard – Peter Norton
Cusop – Tim Hills
New sites
Glen Prosen, Balnaboth Chapel: Kembeck House, Dura Den: Lindores House – Judy Dowling/David Alderman
High Hoyland – Mick Dodgson/Adam Pidcock

February 2012

What`s New - January 2012

My year began with visits to two sites where old yews have been felled by wintry weather. At Llanfoist, near Abergavenny, the ancient yew was felled when gale force winds swept through south Wales on 5th January. It is likely that the yew was weakened by fire damage that occurred some time before my first visit in 1998. Poor leaf growth on its damaged upper branches was compensated for with the development of new branches on its lower bole. Fortunately one of these was below the point at which the tree snapped, and in it lies the expectation that a new tree will grow from the old.         
At Aberyscir, near Brecon, one of its two veterans collapsed under the weight of a winter snowstorm in 2007/8. It is possible that the weight of ivy growing high into its crown was a contributory factor. A large stump with several points of new growth remains and the tree should recover.
There is no excuse however for the felling of a living ancient yew at the end of 2011. Details cannot be released while the case is being assessed by the local authority legal department. A full account will appear in due course.
New articles
The Bedhampton Yews – Hugh Milner and Peter Norton
Southleigh Forest – Peter Norton and Hugh Milner
Hut Wood – Peter Norton
The Yews of Ranscombe Farm – Cliff Hansford
A survey in 3 parts:  part 1 : part 2: part 3  
New sites
Carhampton: Dodington: Durleigh – Tim Hills
Woolley, Wakefield – Chris Jones
Mylor – Tim Kellett
Nap Wood: Wakehurst Place-The Mansion - Peter Norton
New photos
Craswall Priory: Defynnog: Dinefwr Park: Merthyr Cynog – Jan Fry
Defynnog: Llanelly: Llanfeugan: Llangattock Lingoed: Llangattock-vibon-Avel: Llantilio Pertholey: Timberscombe: Withycombe: Wootton Courtenay – Tim Hills
Bedhampton: Bursledon: Hound: Stedham: Woolbeding – Peter Norton
Stoke St Mary: Swindon-Richard Jefferies Garden
New poem

January 2012