“Trees matter, and that means every tree, including outliers and the craggy loners.”

Harriet and Rob Fraser are building a series of drystone ‘folds’ in Cumbria which will embrace new trees, offering a space for people to sit and pause with the trees, and revisit them over the years. Each ‘treefold’ will contain some stones carved with Harriet’s poetry – the poem can be read individually or as one long poem threading its way across the landscape. The drystone treefolds will be made with local stone by a master waller, using vernacular techniques that date back for more than a thousand years.

Rob and Harriet’s connection with trees has deepened over the last two years while they have been visiting seven trees spread across Cumbria, as part of their project The Long View. “We have spent days and nights with these trees,” says Harriet, “in all weathers, alone and in company of others. We’ve walked between them, slept with them in midsummer and midwinter. The more time we spend with them, the more we study them, and each time we introduce them to others, they seem more special.”

Two treefolds will be at the east and west of this constellation of seven trees, with the third in central Cumbria, in Grizedale Forest. The stone folds are an invitation to consider ordinary trees that are part of all of our landscapes, and the importance of celebrating and protecting them.



We had a great day yesterday – sorting stones, finding good stones for footings, throughs and caps, and measuring out the site and preparing it. It was hot and the sky was cloudless all day!
We spent the first couple of hours sorting through stone and prepping the site. You need a huge amount of stone to build a wall! The base is 28 inches wide and the wall will be five foot high (tapering slightly) so we’re going to need 13-15 tonnes! We spent a few hours sorting – separating the biggest stones for footings and throughs, and the top or cap stones, from other bits and pieces. The smallest stones that are used as fillings are called heartings.  The stone waller, Andrew Mason, had all the footings in place by the end of the day and had levelled things off. Now he’s gradually building up.
The foresters have been dropping by and talking about trees and planting plans. All very exciting.

The machinery dropping stones off on site.

Harriet checking out the view from atop the wall

Andrew Mason putting on the through stones, the footings are done!

Andrew Mason sorting through the stones

Harriet with Hazel Stone, Grizedale, preparing the stones

End of day two, a beautiful spot for a tree


Harriett and Rob loading up the car with stones for the treefolds.

Harriet working out the letter spacing prior to their being carved.

Harriet with Pip Hall, the stone carver.

Marking out the site of the treefold before site works.

This project forms part of the Tree Charter Art Residency Programme

Treefolds – Planting for the future

The Charter for Trees, Woods and People will guide society towards a future in which trees and people stand stronger together. Help give it strength: Sign the Tree Charter

Principle 2 of the Tree Charter
Planting for the future

Read all 10 Principles and sign your name 

Residency partners:





Residency funded by:


Get involved and support Common Ground: