British school kids to help with elm repopulation

Youngsters are being encouraged to take an interest in garden and greenhouse activities via an initiative that aims to discover why a much-loved tree survived a devastating disease.

A handful of elms managed to see out the 1960s after Dutch elm disease eradicated most of the trees.

Schoolchildren are now being drafted in to help with efforts to repopulate the country with the trees, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) revealed.

Saplings propagated from the few surviving British elms have been delivered to 250 schools around the UK and are also set to be planted at various other locations in order to help the species grow strong again.

Research into how the survivors managed to avoid succumbing to Dutch elm disease should also help prevent numbers dwindling in future.

The ultimate aim is to plant around 10,000 trees throughout the UK, which will help reintroduce a native species to many parts of the country.

Meanwhile, the RHS has revealed that the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales is growing an experimental food garden using a woodlands ecosystem as the model.