The Conservation Foundation last night launched a multi-media project to map the existing elm trees of London and celebrate elm heritage in our capital.
With funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and help from the Natural History Museum, Ulmus Londinium invites you to record any elm within the M25 on the Urban Tree Survey via the NHM's website. Now is a good time to go elm spotting because elm blossom is rather distinctive bearing pale green fruit. The trees blossom in February and March but if you miss it, the trees are also identifiable by their leaves, indicated in the logo, pictured.
Aside from street and place names you'd be surprised where elms turn up. The Foundation recently found out that there are old elm waterpipes at Thames Water’s place in Walthamstow. Many things were once made of elm wood, including all sorts of furniture and beautiful coffins. If you've got an elm treasure or have come across elm trivia, please share it with the Foundation. Sightings of Robert Elms are not required (but do say hi from us).
In 2012 the Foundation celebrates its 30 anniversary and hopes to do so by presenting young elms to streets and communities with elm in their name. These new London elms will come from the Foundation's Great British Elm Experiment which now has 22 London schools taking part. It is hoped an elm nursery will be established at Kennington's Roots and Shoots to support this.
A letter has already been dispatched to the American Embassy in the hope of putting nine elms back in Nine Elms as part of their new development.