The Sycamore Gap tree, felled last September, has inspired a reforestation initiative in North Yorkshire.

The Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail near Masham will rejuvenate an area of the Swinton Estate that has been heavily impacted by larch tree blight.

Artist Lucy Pittaway, the force behind this initiative, recently planted the first trees in the woodland.

She said: "Like everyone else I was so saddened to hear about the felling of the tree.

"To now see this new woodland coming to life is wonderful and I'm so grateful to everyone who has helped us come this far."

The Sycamore Gap tree, which stood beside Hadrian's Wall for 200 years, made a substantial impression on a young Ms Pittaway during a childhood visit.

Following its felling, Ms Pittaway painted the iconic tree under a Northern Lights sky, pledging to donate a portion of each print's sale towards the creation of a legacy woodland.

Hexham Courant: Lucy Pittaway's painting of the Sycamore Gap treeLucy Pittaway's painting of the Sycamore Gap tree (Image: Lucy Pittaway)

Nearly 2,400 prints have been sold to date, helping to finance this new woodland.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, owner of the Swinton Estate, answered Ms Pittaway's call for a land donation.

Hexham Courant: Lucy Pittaway with Felicity Cunliffe-ListerLucy Pittaway with Felicity Cunliffe-Lister (Image: Lucy Pittaway)

Ms Cunliffe-Lister said: "Like many areas of the countryside we have lost so many trees from larch blight and so regenerating the area through this project is a perfect fit.

"I think we are appreciating more and more the importance of conservation and the positive impact that trees and the countryside have on our well-being."

The first wave will see 600 saplings planted in April, comprising mostly sycamore, along with oak, rowan, hazel, and other native species.

The estate's forestry team will continue planting hundreds of additional saplings over the following months, incorporating more mature tree species from autumn onwards.

This new woodland will repopulate an area surrounding a 200-year-old folly, the Druid's Temple.

This area has heavily succumbed to the phytophthora ramorum fungal disease in recent years, drastically reducing the larch and ash tree populations.

Visitors to the Lucy Pittaway Sycamore Gap Trail can follow a path made from the chippings of felled larch trees, enjoying artistic installations, relaxation spaces, and educational boards.

Ms Pittaway added: "I hope this is an area that can be used for relaxation for generations to come.

"If it can inspire people’s interest in art and the countryside then the legacy of the Sycamore Gap tree will be a positive one."