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Lambeth schoolchildren walk jubilee elms to Lambeth Palace

Friday 11th May 2012

50 seven year olds from Walnut Tree Walk Primary School arrived at Lambeth Palace this afternoon with some special elm saplings which will spend the summer in the Lambeth Palace gardens.

The elms are part of Ulmus londinium, The Conservation Foundation’s London elm programme which is celebrating the capital’s elm heritage.

Saplings from its Great British Elm Experiment, which uses trees propagated from healthy mature elms growing in a variety of locations, are being offered to communities in London who have Elm Streets, Elm Avenues, Elm Park Roads etc.

School children walk with Elm tree saplings

The young elms were originally grown at Roots and Shoots in Lambeth, but are moving on for the summer to a number of places around town including Lambeth Palace, Hampstead Heath, Syon House, High Elms Country Park and various community gardens, where they will be grown on until being distributed towards the end of the year. This is to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the Foundation’s 30th anniversary. 

Children unload elm saplings from vintage cart

In addition to the tree planting programme, the Foundation is researching and recording London’s existing elm population on a map being managed by the Natural History Museum.

The heritage of London’s use of elm is being researched for an educational DVD.  This will show how water supplies, transport, river furniture, churches, household items and coffins have all used the special qualities of elm.  Many uses such as the original London Bridge are also featured on a historical map which is featured on the Foundation’s website.

Children prepare to plant elm tree saplings

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2012, The Conservation Foundation was set up by David Shreeve and David Bellamy to provide a means for people in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to work together on environmental causes.

Current projects include Wessex Watermarks, The Great British Elm Experiment, ‘Ulmus londinium’, The Yew Tree Campaign, Gardening Against The Odds, O2’s Think Big, Tools Shed and the Young Scientists for Rainforests Fund. 

The children reflect on planting the elm saplings

Roots and Shoots provides vocational training for young people from the inner city, mainly from the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. It aims to give them the skills and self-confidence that will equip them for work.

The charity was set up in 1982 by Linda Phillips, who is still the Director, to help young people from Lambeth and Southwark prepare for the world of work. Up to twenty 16-19 year olds who have had difficulty coping in the traditional educational system spend a year learning there.

The elms in the Lambeth Palace garden

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