Chiswick Part Of Awardwinning Film On Elm Trees

Elmwood Road features in Conservation Foundation's project


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A short film featuring streets with connections to Elm trees (including Elmwood Road, Chiswick) has won the 2013 Creative Award in the annual RE-LEAF Awards which are organised by the Forestry Commission and the GLA.

The film was made by the Conservation Foundation which was set up 30 years ago by Chiswick resident David Shreeve and television botanist David Bellamy to promote positive environmental news, awareness and action.

L to R- Garry Brown, Editor; Camila Ruz, Producer; BBC World Editor John Simpson; David Shreeve, Director of The Conservation Foundation and Matthew Pencharz, The Mayor of London Environment Advisor.

Mr. Shreeve was presented with the award by BBC World Editor John Simpson at a reception in City Hall last week (May 15). He commented; “The Foundation has lost track of the number of awards we have presented for years but in this, our 30th anniversary year, it is great to receive one for ourselves.”

The film- The A to Z of London Elms is part of The Conservation Foundation’s Ulmus londinium project, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Project works to restore elm trees to the capital – in the past forty years 25 million elms have been lost in the UK to Dutch Elm Disease. A short trailer for the film can be seen on

Local places of interest featuring in the film include Barn Elms, Ealing Common, Elm Grove Road SW13, Elmwood Road, W4, Holly Lodge Richmond Park, Kew Bridge Steam Museum, Teddington Lock and a host of other areas from Southwark to Seven Sisters and Bloomsbury.

Produced by Camila Ruz and edited by Garry Brown, it is available free online to schools and non-profit organisations and the DVD may be ordered from the Foundation for a £5 donation to cover postage and packing. The three minute highlights and details of how to order the 14 minute length film are at

Last November the Project gave a number of elm saplings to residents in Elmwood Road, Chiswick to plant up. Elm trees have been used for medicinal purposes for many years- the inner bark was used for skin infections (including the treatment of leprosy) and over 20 insects live on elm trees. Elm trees also feature in the paintings of Constable, and the trees have even been used for public executions.

The A to Z of London Elms shows 26 of the many uses to which elms have been put. From the pipes that brought the water to the medieval city, the foundations of London Bridge of nursery rhyme fame, the coffins of the Tudor court and the hanging tree of Tyburn, the elm is inextricably woven into the life of the capital.

The Conservation Foundation

Despite the loss of so many trees through disease and development, a good number still thrive in London, a vital part of the city’s biodiversity and essential to the survival of the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.

Elm sightings can be added to the Natural History Museum’s online elm map at by following the urban tree survey links via the Nature online tab.


May 21, 2013

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