PAINTINGS of the wetlands of Malham Fen will featured in a new exhibition Gavagan Art Gallery in Settle.

Traces of the Fen, which will feature charcoal drawings and mixed media paintings by artist Margaret Uttley, opens this Saturday

In recent years a great deal of conservation has been undertaken at Malham Fen, which is part of Malham Tarn Nature Reserve.

The reserve consists of 147 hectares and is one of the best places in the Dales to see a natural lime-rich lake, the tarn, raised bog, fen and purple moor-grass and rush pasture.

Malham Fen was recently featured in a Channel Five television series, which followed the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors over the four seasons with the narrator, Yorkshire actor Sean Bean.

Margaret, whose exhibition is her second solo show at Gavagan Art, said of Malham Fen: “At any time of the year, this fen is a favourite place of mine where I can quietly walk, observe, sit, draw and think.

“It amazes me how in winter the fen looks quite desolate and barren, when it is saturated with water draining from the surrounding countryside, with tree trunks and branches tilting and supporting each other, as though they had been dropped in a giant game of Jack Straws.”

“As spring carefully reveals itself, through hard frosts catkins appear with optimism. Gradually more vegetation bursts from beneath the icy waters, the frogs spawn and the insect world becomes very active again.

“As the year progresses the fen becomes claustrophobically overgrown with vegetation, secretly protecting many natural habitats.”

Gallery owner and curator of the exhibition, Mary Gavagan, said: “The subject of Margaret’s recent work is undoubtedly an outstandingly beautiful and mysterious area of Yorkshire very sensitively portrayed in this series of drawings.”

The exhibition, which runs through August 18, is from 11am to 4pm Thursdays through Saturdays.