Sawley - Hebden Wood (Yorkshire)
|Thanks to Rob for information and the above photograph of a grove of Giant Sequioas on the edge of Hebden Wood taken in December 2010.
Rob explained that his interest in Redwoods started when he was young, "I was a child of older parents and spent weekends as a young kid bird/nature watching with my late father. He knew of a valley with giant trees growing in it but he couldn't remember where it was and we didn't find it for a year or so. We actually drove on the road to the top of the valley hill, couldn't see the trees and turned around. We searched and searched and one day we drove down that road again and didn't turn around. Bang, we dropped down in to the valley with these giant trees growing, hidden from the road and view from the valley top.
This was the moment that triggered my interest in Redwood trees as these giants were Giant Sequioas, Sequioadendron Giganteum. I had not seen anything like them before, huge trunks on towering trees. The roadside giants are still there and are even taller now. The tree next to the road in the photo above is c 45.73 metres, 150 feet tall. The tree immediately behind it, it's trunk base is about 5 feet below the 150 foot tree and it is about 10 to 15 feet taller, making it c 165 to 170 feet, 50.9 to 51.82 metres. I have often wondered if these trees were contenders for the tallest Giant Sequioas in Britain. They are so impressive because they are growing in a very naturalistic forested valley with an understory of Abies Grandis (Grand Fir), and not as trees in a stately home type setting.
Are you or any of your contributors aware of these trees? They are so hidden you have to be on top of them almost to seem them. They are growing in Hebden Wood on the road between Markington and Sawley Hall in North Yorkshire. There are actually more very tall Sequioadendrons in Sawley Hall grounds as well. I have nightmare visions of someday driving down this road to find these wonderful trees felled. What a tragedy that would be, they should be a tourist attraction, admired by everyone and yet I bet hardly anyone knows of their existence. I would love it if someone would actually measure their height and they could be appreciated by a wider audience and given some form of protected status.
There is a fine Sequioa Sempervirens, possibly approaching 100 feet, just above the Half Moon pond in the nearby grounds of Fountains Abbey."
Thank you for your interesting tale about these Redwoods in Yorkshire and how, as a child, you came to like them. Perhaps other contributors may have some more information about the origins and ownership of these trees. It's a shame I live so far away from the area, otherwise I would love to visit and photograph for myself.
As for giving them some form of protected status, I understand it is possible for any member of the public to apply to have a preservation order placed on a tree, it does not have to be the owner. It sounds as though these Redwoods qualify for this on age and grandeur. Most councils in England have what they usually call a "tree officer" who would arrange for this, or at least advise on the process.
* * * Update - February 2021 * * *
Jon wrote to say "I have watched these trees since I lived in nearby Sawley in 1981.
I think the owner has a liking for the redwoods, recently a many acre section of the wood was thinned
removing the various conifers but saving the redwoods resulting in an impressive stand of pure redwoods.
It should be interesting to see how these trees fill the space."
Thanks for the update Jon. It is good to know that the owners left the Redwoods in place and, as you say, it will be interesting to see how they respond to the additional space.