About and contact


About and contact

I’ve been visiting the forest for some time now, photographing and recording the oaks. My name is Helen Leaf, I love trees and I’m a verifier for the Ancient Tree Inventory. The plan is that eventually all of these trees will be on the Ancient Tree Inventory so that everyone can see them, learn from them, and appreciate how special they are.

What I do is consider what’s going on with each tree – where it’s at in its veteran or ancient stage of growth, what life it has led and what it’s thinking ahead to do. I measure the girth of the tree, and make notes about what I see. Living or dead, there are things going on with each tree, wildlife to see and hear, and wonders to witness in the forest around. The more I stand and contemplate each tree, the more I understand.

Most times when I’m out in the forest I chat with people, or maybe they ask what I’m doing and we’ll start talking about ancient trees. Understanding what trees do when they get old is really interesting, and time and again people are amazed, intrigued, and inspired by learning about this. It makes a difference in the way of walking through the forest – instead of just walking past lots of old trees, you can appreciate every tree as a sentient, creative life, with its own story and character.

So now here’s the website, Instagram page and blog. It’s here because people will find it interesting, because it will help people learn about veteran and ancient trees, and because each time I go out in the forest I see many things I can share. 

I look forward to sharing my times in the forest with you…

If you’d like to see more photos, you can find me on Instagram.
Go to @oaksofsherwood or click on the icon when I’ve added it.

If you’d like to find out more about veteran and ancient trees, you can visit the Ancient Tree Forum:

If you’d like to see the map of veteran and ancient trees of the UK, you can visit the Ancient Tree Inventory:

If you’d like to learn more about wild honeybees, you can visit the Natural Beekeeping Trust:

If you’d like to visit Sherwood Forest and want to find out  how to get there, where to park and what’s happening at the visitor centre, here’s the link. I occasionally give guided walks there:  Tree ID (winter/summer), Wild flowers of Sherwood, and ‘Understanding ancient oaks’. 


My, ‘Understanding Ancient Trees‘ course runs as part of the Marlborough College Summer School. Although the Summer School has been postponed due to the pandemic, it is set to run in 2022.


If you’d like to contact me you can do so by using this form: