Potley Lane Field

Thank you to artist Rachel Heard for sharing these photos and a painting of her favourite Ash tree near where she lives in Corsham, Wiltshire:

Here are some photos of a lovely big old Ash tree that stands in some fields two minutes walk from my house. There is a public right of way and I started walking my dogs there when we moved around the corner about 7 years ago.

We love the field as a family and have had many fun walks there together, spotting wildlife (butterflies, deer, rabbits, bats), naming puddles and seeing the seasons pass.

In 2017/18 building work started for a new housing estate. I felt a mixture of emotions, from rationalizing that new housing was needed, to grieving the loss of habitat for the wildlife there.

I documented the changing landscape through photography and ended up painting the view with the Ash tree, before the new estate had been built, as a kind of memorial.

I didn’t know if the Ash tree would remain when building started but I’m thankful to say it is still there, having born witness to the change of landscape around it.

I showed my photos and paintings at Right Angle Framing Shop in Corsham and Ian, who works in the shop, bought my painting as he used to play in those fields throughout his childhood.

I noticed how many of the towns I had seen in the countryside in my childhood were changing really fast during those two years, with new housing estates being built on the outskirts of towns. For example: Derry Hill, Calne, Melksham and Corsham. I really feel that the loss of countryside should be documented in some way for future generations.

If you’d like to share your own photographs, memories or artwork responding to an Ash tree near you please get in touch and we can include them here, or alternatively share on social media tagging your post with the #AshTreeStream hashtag.

Published by James Aldridge

Visual Artist and Consultant, working and playing with people and places. Based in Wiltshire, UK

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