The Muker Ash
My journey to meet the Muker Ash.
I contacted the Old School Gallery in 2018 to see if they would be interested in showing my Tree prints. They were! In fact Richard Walls organised a season of exhibitions of Printmakers work, mine being the focus in April 2019. After meeting Richard he told me that he had been able to source some pieces of local Ash which came from a tree's limb which had recently fallen. I collected the round and a few days later I had printed 2 of them. I counted 140 rings and so I speculated that the tree could be over 200 years old.
After my wood printing workshop at muker Village Hall, I asked Richard where the tree was so that I could go and see her. This was the part of April which was still chilly! so I made a cold walk along to the tree and my first sighting of her.
She had lost half of herself. A quick look and I was impressed by her size. Much more than 200 years old!
There was a biting wind, and I needed to start my drive home.
The following week I visited the gallery and brought one of the Ash pieces with me. Gallery visitors made their own prints from her.
This time I was able to meet her properly. The Muker Brass band was playing as I walked away from the village along the footpath to Keld. As the stony path curves away to the left, I took the right fork along the old path to Rampsholme bridge. You come to her at the gate.
The tree is on private land but very close to the wall of the path so its very easy to be close to her and to feel her presence. Also a wonderful viewpoint of the valley.
When I got home I logged onto the ancient tree inventory to see if she was listed. She is! She was added in June 2011 and is a common ash with a girth of 4.8m which gives her the status of ancient and she is listed as a tree of national special interest. See below for full location details and line to the Tree register.
One of the rounds which Richard gave me already beautifully sanded.
Burning the second round which has an interesting double heart.
How the Ash looked as I used the blow torch to burn away the softer wood and raise the grain.
Wire brushing away all the ash. The first two prints were for Richard and William the landowner to say thank you.
The prints are now in my exhibition at The Old School Gallery in Muker.
Ancient Tree Inventory showing her listing
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