Disease-resistant elms planted at Wrest Park as part of a £1.4m regeneration project

Twenty six Dutch elm disease-resistant elms were planted in the Bedfordshire park to replace an avenue of English elms that succumbed to the disease in the 1970s.

Planting of disease-resistant elms at Wrest Park - image - Wrest Park
Planting of disease-resistant elms at Wrest Park - image - Wrest Park

The elms, Ulmus ‘Nanguen’, were originally bred in Holland before being trialled in Paris for over 20 years.

The planting forms part of a wider Heritage Lottery Funded revival project for the landscaped grounds.

English Heritage conservation department’s head of gardens & landscape John Watkins said: "Sadly we were unable to replant with the original species as the disease is still prevalent, but we think these trees will have a good chance of surviving given that they have grown without problems at the Bois de Vincennes for so long." 

The first phase of the improvement scheme including miles of new pathways and the restoration of the rose garden and Italian garden is due to be completed in August.

Work also starts this year on the French parterre and American gardens while a new visitor centre incorporating a shop and café, children’s play area, new exhibitions and selected rooms inside the mansion will be opened to the public for the first time.

Additional elms will be planted around the park's French-style mansion in the autumn.


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