Conservation Foundation Executive Director, David Shreeve, hands over the elm
A quick Google Map search on things called elm in Lambeth throws up evidence that the great tree was once a notable fixture: Elm Court SW9, Elm Park Tavern SW2, Elm Park Dairies SW2, Elm Court School SE27, Elm Wood Primary School SE27 not to mention a whole area called Nine Elms across the borough border. But when did you last spot an elm where street names might expect them to be? And would you even recognise one if you did?
The Conservation Foundation's Great British Elm Experiment is distributing 250 healthy elm saplings to schools across the country in an attempt to unlock the mystery of why some trees survived Dutch elm disease which is estimated to have killed 25 million elms from the 1960s onwards. The saplings will be registered and monitored by the schools in the hope that a new generation of elms will become established.
Elm Court School opened in in Tulse Hill in 2008 after an exemplary refurbishment. A special school in a new home, it was particularly pleased to receive its very own elm to care for as "a special symbol... of hope for the future; for the environment and for the school itself".
Find out more about the Great British Elm Experiment, encourage your local school to get involved and support it at www.conservationfoundation.co.uk. Wonder if we can get the American Embassy involved?