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18th July 2016

First meeting of ATF Cumbria takes place in Geltsdale

by Ian Jack

Ian Jack, co-ordinator of the new Ancient Tree Forum Cumbria group, joined the members for their first field event this June.

The Cumbria chapter of the ATF had its inaugural meeting on a beautiful spring day in June at the magnificent pasture woodlands of Geltsdale in the foothills of the Northern Cumbria Pennines. The day was ably lead by Iris Glimmerveen who has been associated with these woodlands for the last  nineteen years.

The pasture woodlands at Geltsdale are in a truly wonderful setting and Iris is clearly at one with all that these woodlands represent and laid on a day which will be well remembered by all who participated.

The theme of the day was ‘trees within trees’ and Iris began by explaining how one of the amazing features of Geltsdale is how Rowan trees often seed themselves into niches in Alders and these two trees then age together. The Rowan does not live off the Alder but with it, both trees occupying the same space. The Rowan puts down aerial roots which helps in time to give the whole structure a fantastical appearance. Eventually the Alder succumbs to age and withers leaving the Rowan to act out a solitary role as it too becomes ancient.

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