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The Green Man Brings Spring to Chapel Meadow

The Green Man Brings Spring to Chapel Meadow

Regular price £750.00
Regular price Sale price £750.00
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The Green Man brings spring to Chapel Meadow, shows the arrival of spring in the field opposite our house in Oxfordshire.

  • An original painting in watercolour. Size 525mm x 457mm
  • Prints are size A2

For four years, we have been carefully observing the Chapel Meadow from our home on Pigeon House Lane, Freeland.

At first glance the meadow appears to be completely "ordinary". But years of observations have shown us it's extraordinary and rare. If you look closely, carefully and slowly, you discover it has real magic. And it's that magic I have attempted to capture in this painting.

Biodiversity abounds in Chapel Meadow

The meadow is part of an ancient wildlife corridor stretching from Eynsham Hall Park to the west to Pinsley Wood to the east. It's owned by Witney Town Charity.

Chapel Meadow is managed so sensitively by the tenant farmer. He mows it for hay just once a year, and as far as I know it's not been ploughed for decades. This has allowed it to grow naturally and is full of many species of grasses and has a wide uncut margin of wildflowers attracting a huge number of insects.

We have seen foxes and muntjacs, and with our windows open, we hear tawny owls twit-twooing. Barn owls visit for the small mammals: voles, mice, shrews. There are also bats and squirrels, amphibians and grass snakes.

The meadow is bounded by mature trees and deep tangled unkempt hedgelines of oak, ash, holly, rose, bramble, hawthorn, and blackthorn. This makes it the perfect home for numerous bird species including corvids, thrushes, woodpeckers, finches, and tits. It's biodiverse and beautiful. A place to treasure! And not a place to trash...

A magical meadow threatened with annihilation

We were aware that someone someday might want to come and "develop" the meadow. It's now under threat from a speculative housing developer called Spitfire Homes. They seek to destroy this magical meadow by building 80 so-called "sustainable" houses on it.

In a village the size and character of ours, that's insanity. Yes, there's a village campaign to object to it, and West Oxfordshire District Council have refused planning permission. There will planning appeals, and I suspect the courts will ultimately decide. There's much more about it, including loads of objections from villagers, including me, on the WODC website here.

Painting the magic while it still exists

I've painted some of Chapel Meadow's magic now, in case Spitfire Homes are eventually granted permission to build, and it's annihilated forever. What better way than to imagine the Green Man - the ancient woodland spirit of life and regrowth - joyously parading across the meadow, bringing spring and spreading hope and life?

The figure of the Green Man is inspired byArthur Rackham's illustration of the Pied Piper. Also pictured are a pair of swallows, a song thrush, a green woodpecker, a great spotted woodpecker, a mother muntjac and her fawn, a fox, a common frog and two fairies.

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Typically, orders for physical products placed after 12pm on Friday, and on Saturday or Sunday will not be posted until Monday at the earliest. I use Royal Mail to dispatch your order.

If you have ordered multiple items, I will try to post everything together. Occasionally, this is not possible, in which case they will be dispatched in separate packages.

Digital files will typically be transferred to customers within 24 hours via email using WeTransfer, the file transfer website.

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