Ancient & Remarkable Trees

of The New Forest

   This project runs in tandem with a series of exhibitions and has been supported by the New Forest National Park Authority.            I have dedicated this work to the memory of Nick Evans who was, at the outset of the project, the National Parks Senior Policy Officer. His enthusiasm and belief in the importance of the ancient woodlands of The New Forest gave me the impetus and encouragement to start and to continue with this work.. 

   My hope for these exhibitions is that they may increase our appreciation and respect for these often hidden treasures of the forest and to encourage us all to see more clearly and feel more deeply the natural world that we are all a part of.  

   Woodlands are important for our wellbeing both mentally and physically but these surviving hulks of living history, hiding within them, are now under increasing threats from climate change, disease and development. We need to have a greater awareness of the fragility of these eco systems that are so vital to us all and of the importance of the green world that surrounds us.

David Russell

   My father gave me my first proper camera when I was 9, a Kodak Retinette which neither of us had a clue how to use, but I really liked the smell and feel of it, the leather, metal and glass.   Over the years there was a gradual realisation of the magic that could be created with it.   I suspect deep down I still have that same feeling for the camera as a tool and have developed a respect for what it can achieve.

   We had moved to live in the New Forest a couple of years earlier, with promises of Robin Hood behind every tree and I've loved it ever since though I've yet to find Robin and his band of outlaws hiding in the trees. 

   After graduation from schools in the Forest and in Southampton I, inevitably went on to study photography at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art.  

   Most of my working life as a professional photographer has been in and around the New Forest, so it was natural for me to undertake this very personal project.