'I scrutinised its form for many summer days – I was captivated'

Richard Geraint Evans

While driving through the leafy lanes of Arundel and the surrounding area, I stumbled upon this majestic tree living in an area of wonderful natural beauty in Binsted, West Sussex. It’s a mature oak, standing proud at the far side of Binsted park, a wild and overgrown haven supporting long grasses and an abundance of butterflies.

I’m a tree portrait artist and my work takes me to all kinds of wonderful trees, young and old. This one is tall and strong, probably because it once stood among other great pedunculate oaks, all competing for light. I returned with my pens and pencils, and scrutinised its form for many summer days. It sustains all kinds of wildlife. As I drew, I saw little owls, roe deer and butterflies – marbled whites and purple emperors. What a privilege this was, to witness our natural world in such great detail and without interruption. I was captivated by this tree: the great Binsted oak.

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