Earlier this week the authors visited Stourhead (Western) Estate in Wiltshire to study and draw a treescape in one of Britain’s most progressively-managed woodlands.

Gabriel Hemery writing The New Sylva in the woodland at Stourhead. An ipad and bluetooth keyboard provide a very mobile solution.

Thanks to the support of owner Nick Hoare, and his forestry consultant David Pengelly of Canopy Land Use, the authors were allowed full access to some of the areas of the large wooded estate where close-to-nature forestry is practiced.

Close-to-nature forestry drawing in progress by Sarah Simblet

It was stunning to see 100-year-old Douglas fir towering over multitudes of other broadleaved and conifer species of all sizes. Rain showers provided a challenge for Sarah but the raising of a tarpaulin allowed her to continue to work even as the drizzle turned to a downpour.

Our thanks to Nick Hoare and David Pengelly.


  1. Hi

    I am the garden manager for Stone Lane Gardens on Dartmoor. I have followed your progress on the New Sylva with interest, and wondered if you might be interested in visiting us here to look at our National Collections of Birch and Alder trees. Our garden was created by Kenneth Ashburner and he planted the trees out in small copses, creating a very naturalistic effect. I am sure you would find the trees inspiring.

    If you would be interested in visiting, I would be more than happy to give you a guided tour. And if you wanted to draw in the garden (you wouldnt be the first) you would be welcome.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


    Paul Bartlett

    Garden Manager

    Description: stone-lane-logo – medium

    National Collections of wild-origin Birch and Alder trees.

    Hosting the “Mythic Garden” summer sculpture exhibition.

    Stone Lane Gardens, Stone Farm, Chagford, Devon. TQ13 8JU Tel: 01647 231311 http://www.stonelanegardens.com

    Charity number 1141252

    1. Hi Paul
      Thank you very much for your interest and kind offer. We have plans for birch at the moment but will certainly bear Stone Lane Gardens in mind. I think you have a fabulous resource there and, as a Devonian myself, any excuse to return ‘home’ is always welcome.
      I hope we can keep in touch.
      Best wishes

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