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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

The Ancient Yew Group

June 27th, 2013

ormiston yew john darcy

Trees play a deeply important part in Druidry. We honour their key role in the healthy continuation of life upon our planet; we give thanks for the invaluable resources they gift us with, from the purely practical levels of food and wood, to the nourishment we draw from their inspiration emotionally and spiritually.

There is a strong tradition in Druidry that links the sacred, our ability to create and the inspiration of trees. The root of the word ‘inspire’ comes from the meaning ‘to breathe’ or ‘breathe into’. We know trees to be the lungs of our planet; the vital circuit of exchange between the carbon dioxide and oxygen that we share with them is not only important to our physical survival and well-being but also to our psyches. Our relationships with them allows us to feed the cells of our bodies with life-giving oxygen; the inspiration they offer also feeds our emotions, stimulates our minds and sparks our creativity, opening the channels for personal growth. The breath of life that trees bless us with is intimately interwoven with the drawing in of inspiration and the outward expression of each of our voices – as we inhale and exhale our deep connection to trees becomes apparent.

It seems crazy to think, given that we are dependent on trees for so much, that we should fail to protect them. There are many individuals and groups that are trying to combat the wilful destruction of forests or ancient trees under threat. One such group that is working hard on this problem is The Ancient Yew Group. They focus their energies on Yews, a tree that has great significance in Druid and Pagan spirituality. Here are the group’s aims:

Aims of the Ancient Yew Group

  • To raise public awareness of the national and world wide importance of our ancient Yews.
  • To survey, record and monitor the health of our ancient Yews.
  • To highlight potential threats.
  • To research and collate all modern and historical references of our ancient Yew heritage.
  • To provide advice to help people protect their ancient Yews.
  • To campaign for better protection and seek government support.
  • To bring together Yew tree enthusiasts, providing an opportunity to discuss, enthuse and help towards achieving the above aims.

Vision of the Ancient Yew Group

  • That information on Yew trees and their conservation is widely known amongst all relevant organisations and individuals as a result of this web site.
  • That research funding be made available for further studies of the yew tree eg recording methodology, longitudinal growth patterns, detailed photography, video-recording etc..
  • There is a nationwide consultancy service offering advice on the care of yew trees.
  • That Ancient Yew trees receive strong legal protection, both British and European.
  • That a charitable trust exists for the conservation and promotion of ancient yew trees.
  • If a disused church with ancient yews became available this would be a superb opportunity to convert the site to an Ancient Yew Information Centrewhere records could be archived, research students could work and the general public enthused and informed by the use of displays, tea and book shop…

Do please visit their website here .There are lots of interesting articles to explore and details of how you can get involved.

2 Responses to “The Ancient Yew Group”

  1. How vital to us all is that breath of life. Thank you for diligently searching out and providing the web link to ancient-yew. How do you as a Druid view trees of life from other worldviews, such as Asatru’s Yggdrassil or Judaism’s tree in the garden in Eden?


  2. Excellent, and good to know of this…. and of the great work they are doing for the earth

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