Excited volunteers from the Friends of Chichester Harbour have signed up to the Chichester Harbour English Elm Experiment, organised by Chichester Harbour Conservancy.
Over 25 million Elm trees have been lost from the British countryside since the outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease. The Elm Experiment marks the first step in reintroducing these iconic trees into the Harbour landscape.
Twelve Elm hybrids have been donated to the Conservancy from a local Elm enthusiast to plant in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All are English varieties, and originate from mature trees in the Midhurst area that have survived the
outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease.
Volunteers in the project are asked to care for the tree during its early years. They will record its height, girth and any signs of disease. We hope that a new generation of Elms will become established in the harbour. The project also heralds hope for the White-letter hairstreak butterfly that relies on Elm for food.
Nicky Horter, Countryside Officer for Chichester Harbour Conservancy said, ‘Our volunteers are really inspired about being part of this project, it will leave a legacy for generations to come’.
Published 21st March 2012
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