Paul W Greenwood.

Yew -Trees

''Today the BBC announced the immensely sad news of the passing of Robert Hardy, FSA CBE aged 91, whose famous and immensely popular roles as an actor included Siegfried in the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small”, and many parts in famous films such as the Harry Potter series. However, as I know from personal experience, Robert considered himself to be a military historian first and foremost and not many people know that he was also a passionate and devoted yew tree enthusiast being the author of “Longbow” and “The Great War Bow”, the latter with Matthew Strickland, and both are classic works. In the 1980’s, and with Professor David Bellamy, Robert was a prime mover in the County Living magazine and Conservation Foundation initiative which sought to bring the declining ancient Yew population to the attention of the general public as never before and encouraged the reporting of Yews in local areas - with the undoubted result that many ancient Yews living today would otherwise have been lost by now. Without this wellspring of endeavour it is doubtful that the increasing public and relevant authorities’ awareness of the paramount importance of Yews in the modern landscape and cultural history of Britain and Ireland (which can be scientifically traced to over a third of a million years ago) would be what it is today. Robert was an inspiration and his time, interest, support and encouragement for me to follow the difficult, complicated and convoluted path of Yew research will remain one of the most priceless gifts I will ever know. My thoughts of deep condolence go to his family, friends and all the colleagues who knew, loved and respected such a marvellous human being. May you rest in peace Robert and your spiritual journey to the ‘other side’ be swift and sure and, in the traditions of many human cultures, be guided and overseen by the Yew. With the deepest of gratitude on behalf of anyone who cares about Yew trees, for without you we would not be where we are today.'' Image of ‘The Other Side of Time’ copyright Paul W Greenwood.