Extra woodland photo workshop – Sunday 27th October

Thanks to the enthusiastic uptake for the earlier photography workshop at Ecclesall Woods, I have organised a second date for Sunday 27th October.

If you are interested in learning about how to photograph trees and woodland habitats then why not book yourself on this half-day workshop at South Yorkshire’s largest ancient woodland.

Tickets cost £25 and are available through Eventbrite here.

Woodland photography workshops

If you are interested in learning how to photograph trees and woodland habitats then why not book yourself on one of two upcoming half-day photography workshops in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

The first session is taking place in Ecclesall Woods on 19th October 2019 and the second is organised for Woolley Wood on 2nd May 2020.

Come and explore the autumnal atmosphere of Ecclesall Woods where the diversity of tree species means many opportunities for creating great photographs.

Both workshops will cover: getting the most out of your camera equipment; matching the lighting conditions to the subject; and how to produce eye-catching compositions. All of which will be supported by the expert botanical and seasonal knowledge of your host, photographer and nature educator Fran Halsall.

All types of camera are welcome although some of the workshop will be devoted to using SLRs. If you have them, please bring tripods and filters with you. A spare tripod will be available to try out if you wish to do so.

If you want to get to grips with photographing bluebells then Woolley Wood guarantees one of the best displays in Sheffield.

These workshops have been created with the support of Sheffield City Council and tickets are available at only £25 per person with a maximum of ten participants per course.

Tickets for the autumn workshop are available here and tickets for the spring date can be found here.

Sheffield’s ancient black mulberry

“ancient black mulberry treeToday I had the pleasure of visiting a fine ancient black mulberry tree, a Morus nigra, at a secret location in Sheffield. From a distance the heart-shaped leaves could be mistaken for a lime although the tree’s squat, slightly bushy, form has more in common with a wind-blasted field oak. At closer range the hairy leaves are considerably larger than those of a lime, although confusingly some of the foliage is deeply lobed like that of a fig. This quirk is a characteristic of the younger leaves at the base of new shoots and is a helpful identification tool. Not that you are especially likely to come across a mulberry, as they are certainly not common and tend to be located in parks, private estates and the gardens of country mansions. Being sunlight lovers they are almost never found in woodlands.

“ancient mulberry leavesPerhaps it is this association with the upper classes that helps perpetuate the popular misconception that mulberries were introduced into Britain by King James in the 17th century. It was actually the Romans who brought them here to cultivate for their fruit and their medicinal roots and bark. James was in fact responsible for promoting the planting of mulberries, as he was keen to establish silkworm colonies in what was a short and unsuccessful foray into the silk industry. The reason for him planting black mulberry is a matter of some debate, with some maintaining that the king was duped into planting M. nigra when the leaves of M. alba are the preferred food of the silkworm. Or it has been suggested that this species was deliberately chosen for its tolerance to the cold, wet UK climate.

“ancient mulberry gnarled barkIt is thought that this mulberry could be as much as 450 years old, placing it among the oldest trees in northern England. It is certainly possible, as this date corresponds with earliest documented mulberries elsewhere in the country. [1] Its ancient status is supported by other features: deeply riven bark with many knots and bulges, and the presence of epiphytic plants growing in the thin soils accumulated in the tree’s many crevices. However, coppiced trees such as this one are notoriously hard to age accurately. This difficulty is exacerbated by the mulberry’s tendency to grow a deceptively thick trunk and slump over in imitation of more venerable trees.

[1] There is a black mulberry in Syon Park, London, which is thought to have been planted in 1548.