Artists & Ecology 5 – Le Dropt, Castillonnès – une trame verte?

Nyiad – Le Dropt à St.Dizier (avant les’
oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
© adam cope

An ash tree growing out of the middle of an old crack willow, not coppiced for many a year.

pen & ink
©adam cope

Wild Wood. Tangle Wood.

Nyiad. Dryiad. River. Tree. Older things than you & I.

This is a condemned being. These trees will be cut down in a week’s time or so.
Death row.

the execution has now been done

Great sadness as all the little pockets of tangle wood are irradiated & ‘cleaned up. “Pas propre”…
developed into agriculture, money, gardens & water supply.

No space for nature in the countryside.


Tangle Wood. Wild Wood. Mole & Ratty – if you listen, you can hear the wind in the willows.


Some photos from

Le Dropt à St.Dizier avant les coups de 2010A green corridor.  =  une trame verte”To write a love song, you have to be love” Henry Hensche (Cape Cod School of Art).

‘Berges du Dropt, St.Dizier’
38 x 46 cm
oil on canvas
©adam cope

 Le Dropt, Castillonnès – une trame verte?

The river Dropt downriver from Allemans de Dropt is a Natura 2000 site.

Up River, near Castillonnès, things are different. The banks are privately owned but the water board owns the water. Agricultors pay for irrigation water for their crops. Trees drink the water. Tangle wood block the water.

‘Le Dropt à St.Dizier’
quarter sheet
©adam cope

No space for nature in the countryside.

Berges du Dropt 3′ – S.Quentin
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40 cm
©adam cope
No home now for the deers, water rats, moles, rabbits & others who try & find their place in a human landscape that has no place left for pests & those who dare eat crops.

Beautiful tanglewood, wildwood. Not the garden of Le Notre. Versailles. All clipped. Perfect. The hand of man dominating the profusion of nature.

Man vs. Nature?

Over 30 kilometres of river bank cleared. Not cut to the bone, true … but cut to the quick.


Brave New World?

coppicing = taillus
Pray that the willows, alders & ashes may regenerate. Wild Wood no more. The hand of man decides who shall be left to attain a wild old age & who shall be ‘restored’.


Happily  most of the willows have regenerated, some of the alders, less of the alders 🙂  However, little scrub & bramble & cover for animals remain. It took me three years wait befoore I could face going down to the river again & see what had become of my friends. When shall I regain the courage to paint this brave new world?  These little wold places where you can breathe & feel close to nature, the nature that man allows to persist… these spots help us live happily.

Fichier:Coppice stool2.JPG

A coppiced alder stool after one year’s growth. photo :wikicommons

Alnus glutinosa (English: Black Alder, European Alder or Common Alder)

“In celtic mythology, Bran the Blessed is associated with the alder tree “The Alder deity is considered to be Bran the Blessed, God of the Underworld. He was also known as the God of Prophecy, Arts, War and Writing. With the size of a giant, it was impossible for Bran to fit in a house or in a boat. According to medieval Christian writings, Bran the Blessed is considered to be the first British man. ” – WIKI

Look at this 300 year old ‘têtard’ or coppiced willow, a survivor, here in St.Dizier. Regeneration?

‘Têtard, Saule, St.Dizier’
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40cm
©adam cope

[button color=”green” size=”medium” align=”center” link=””]paintings of trees[/button]

Futher Reading:

Natura 2000
European Union Water Framework Directive
A green corridor.
Une trame verte

Read more artists & ecology in this blog:

Artists & Ecology #1 – Festival Flore Faune
Artists and Ecology #2 – Robert HAINARD – how to ‘blind contour draw’
Artists & Ecology #3 – Constable, Corn & the Destruction of Hedgerows
Artists & Ecology # 4 – Paintings of Potatoes, Semances & Homage à José Bové
Artists & Ecology # 5 -Le Dropt, Castillonnés , a green corridor?
Artists & Ecology # 6 – No Space for Nature in the Countryside? Wendell Berry