A RYEDALE village is seeing a huge increase in visitors after a group of nearby trees was featured in a painting by world-renowned artist David Hockney.

Residents of the tiny village of Thixendale near Malton say the current interest in Hockney’s work is attracting visitors from all over the country, hoping to find the inspiration behind the painting Three Trees.

Eric Smith, who runs The Old Post Office store in Thixendale, said: “We get a lot of people coming to ask where the trees are.

“In nice weather it can be chock-a-block.

“It was very busy on Sunday. It can be hard to get parked in the village.”

Robert Fuller, a successful wildlife artist who has a studio and gallery in the village, said he thought the visitor boom was a good thing for the area.

He said: “It’s making people look at the area in a different way.

“The Hockney exhibition is a major event and it’s bringing more people in.

“We need the custom for the pub and for people like myself.

“We have big competition from the Dales and the North York Moors. People usually fly past here on the A166 on the way to the coast and just bypass the Wolds. They don’t know there are all these hidden valleys.”

Three Trees At Thixendale was painted by Hockney in 2007 and is just one of many landscapes currently on display at a major exhibition of his work at the Royal Academy, featuring landscapes created throughout Ryedale and East Yorkshire.

The actual three trees can be found near the pond on the Thixendale to Burdale road.

David Hockney visited York last year for the opening of an exhibition of his 40 foot-long masterpiece Bigger Trees Near Warter, at the city’s art gallery in Exhibition Square.