Pupils from Enderby Dane Mill School rolled up their sleeves and got handy with a spade last Thursday when they planted an elm tree at Beaumanor Hall.
Jackie Dickinson, Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, joined the youngsters for the planting and said:
“I am delighted to join the children in helping to plant this tree which is part of our quest to re-establish the English Elm in Leicestershire.
“Planting trees is not only fun, but it helps the children become more aware of the environment and the importance of trees to our countryside.”
The tree has been donated by the council’s Leicestershire Elm Project which aims to reintroduce the trees, which were ravaged by Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s and 1980s, to the county.
The common English Elms (Ulmus procera) being used by the project have been purchased from former tree surgeon Paul King, from King and Co Nursery in Essex, who propagated them from mature trees which appear to carry a genetic resistance to the disease.
If the new trees and propagation source remain unaffected by the disease, and sufficient quantities of stock become available, larger scale planting of Elms may be possible in the longer term.
For more on the Leicestershire Elm Project visit: www.leics.gov.uk/treeswoodland