Photos of the month

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The churchyard at St Helens in Darley Dale, Derbyshire is the subject of my Guardian piece on the 18 January. There are many aspects to yews that intrigue me but in my article I return to the question of why all of these veteran trees move us so much. I have written about it several times. I have developed something of a fascination with old yews and this one is eight metres about the middle and reputed to be at least 800 years old. Yews are common and widespread on the limestone parts of Derbyshire but they are so disliked in farm settings – although i gather livestock habituated to yew can learn to avoid it and teach their offspring to do so – and many of the most exciting trees have been chased out onto bare limestone crags, especially around the River Wye. This churchyard, however hold two exceptional examples as well as a host of lesser trees. In fact Darley Dale, as a whole, I notice has many examples, presumably offspring of the ancient ladies at St Helens. I have captioned a string of 12 images, which is an innovation on my Photo page. I hope you like it.