World heritage status sought for National Elm Collection

Elm tree experts who gathered in Brighton last week for a Conservation Foundation conference have called for world heritage status for the city's National Elm Collection, which holds the largest population of elms in the UK.

Hiller: company representative - image: The Conservation Foundation
Hiller: company representative - image: The Conservation Foundation

Experts inspected a number of elms being developed that could have strong disease resistance. They also discussed how their combined expertise could support research to provide stocks of more varieties and bring a new standard to tree production to avoid unproven claims that often lead to trees falling foul of disease.

They believe a Kitemark backed by their combined knowledge and experience would save costs for gardeners, local authorities and Governments and provide new hope in developing Europe's tree populations.

The conference, part of the Conservation Foundation's Ulmus Maritime elm tree project for the Sussex coast, was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was supported by Hillier Nurseries, which was represented by tree sales manager Jim Hillier. The company is the supplier of the "New Horizon" resistant elm.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion said: "Elm trees are a significant part of Brighton & Hove’s natural heritage, indeed it’s hard to imagine the city’s streets and parks without them.  


"Elms lend the city and landscape a distinct character and it’s essential we do all we possibly can to protect them."

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