Restoring an iconic tree species of England’s lowlands

Rangers joined over 20 volunteers as the community came together to plant elm trees that had been lost due to disease.

Saplings were planted in Binsted, West Sussex, as part of a project between Mid Arun Valley Environmental Survey, Arun Countryside Trust and the National Park Authority.

It comes as disease-resistant elm trees are being re-introduced to the landscape following the national decimation of the tree species caused by Dutch Elm Disease.

Ranger Simon Mockford said: “We all know the devastating effect Dutch Elm Disease has had on our elm trees and projects like this offer a glimmer of hope that mature elms will once again be a feature of the landscape in the future.

“Elm trees are also key to the survival of the White- Letter Hairstreak butterfly whose caterpillar feed  on the flowers of elm trees.

“The idea for planting the elms at Binsted came from the community and they did all the work in deciding where best to plant them and obtaining landowner permission. It’s great when a community project like this comes together.”

Julia Plumstead, Chair of MAVES, added: “We feel very privileged to be part of this project to reintroduce these iconic trees to the English landscape.  The trees have been planted close to footpaths or on the edge of Binsted Lane where we hope they will be enjoyed and appreciated by many people.

“We will of course, monitor their growth and wellbeing and look forward to watching them mature.”