Pioneering elm trees to be planted at Awnells Farm in exciting new conservation project!

Native English elm trees are at risk of being wiped out, but the CRT are returning them to the hedgerows at Awnells Farm, Herefordshire. In order for us to complete this essential project our volunteers need vital planting equipment, please help us achieve our goal and restore a British icon to the countryside.

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What happened...

Introduced during the Bronze age, and once widespread across our rural landscapes, the English Elm was decimated in the 1970s by Dutch Elm Disease. This ruthless disease, which was accidentally introduced in the 60s, is caused by fungi and spread from tree to tree by elm bark beetles.

Unfortunately, the CRT’s Awnells Farm was not immune, and sadly lost 200 trees, as well as many species who relied on them.  The elm is an important part of our countryside’s ecosystem, supporting 82 insect species and 187 lichen species.

Among these is the white-letter hairstreak butterfly, which has suffered a 93% population decline over the past 50 years. Its decline is linked to the loss of our elms, as the butterfly would eat the honeydew sap and the caterpillars would eat its tree’s buds and leaves.

Ruth Moss is Herefordshire Wildlife Monitoring Officer at the CRT and will be managing the tree planting programme. Ruth said, “The CRT is dedicated to restoring our beautiful British countryside, and planting ten new disease-resistant elm trees at Awnells Farm is an important step on that journey.”

And now...

Thanks to 40 years of tireless research and work there is a new disease-resistant elm tree! These exciting new hybrid trees, pioneered by Herefordshire Tree Warden Tony Norman and his team, look like the elms of old but are resistant to the diseases that have previously decimated the British elm population.

Tony has kindly donated ten new trees to the CRT and funding from Herefordshire Community Foundation has allowed us to purchase 100, by planting these trees, the CRT hopes to restore an important element of the countryside ecosystem.  

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How you can help.

The CRT needs help from the local community to purchase essential equipment needed by our team of dedicated volunteers to plant these trees. The equipment will continue to be used in the months and years ahead to support the CRT’s conservation activities in Herefordshire.

Ruth added: “I am immensely grateful to our dedicated volunteers who, united by their passion for conservation, will be giving up their time to help me plant these trees at Awnells. Your generosity will enable us to plant these trees, but also to maintain them, along with the rest of the farm, in the years ahead.”

Please donate today and help us shape a bright cohesive future for all.

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