I spotted this on a quick blast through Exmoor National Park to the family home in North Devon.

In a gloomy wood beside the road I was struck by the light hitting the ends of the wood,swerved to a halt in a gatewayand took a few snaps.

Now I have a few little heaps of timber, but nothing quite on this scale:

In my little wood – is it perhaps so little that its actually a copse? – I am apt now when I prune to leave the prunings on the ground beside the tree in a neat pile. Not everyone likes this approach, but then its not their wood.  

My main aim is to avoid burning the stuff.

The neighbours make such a fuss and I don’t have and don’t want a chipper.

And I also provide homes for insects etc thereby, including a very special Avon woodlouse of which I am inordinately fond.

I have also noticed that very gradually the heaps of twigs subside into the floor of the wood. True recycling!

But this turns my puny efforts into a statement:

It has monumental status:

You could use it as a pallisade to keep the injuns out!

It is both high art and a room divider.

It gives perspective

And can be used to lead the eye and the footsteps.

So next time you have some tree work done, consider whether you should hang onto some of the arisings.

Of course I do know that this is a practical disposition and come Monday this lot will be heading to the pulp mill and I will be reading next Sunday’s news on it.

But maybe this just says that we all have an Andy Goldsworthy within us.

High art is easy if we believe in the product.

Tracey Emin seems to pull it off!

R

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