BBC NEWS reports the elm tree can return to the British countryside, given a helping hand, according to a new report. More than 20 million trees died during the 1960s and 1970s from Dutch elm disease. In the aftermath, the elm was largely forgotten, except among a handful of enthusiasts who have been breeding elite elms that can withstand attack. The research is showing promise and there is reason to be hopeful, said the Future Trees Trust charity.
Report author, Karen Russell, said mature specimens have been identified that are hundreds of years old, and have mysteriously escaped the epidemic. And a new generation of elm seedlings are being bred, which appear to be resistant to the disease.
The BBC reports a project to save a “super-rare” orchid from extinction has seen numbers rise from 200 to 4,000 in eight years. Concern for the future of the fen orchid prompted action among the sand dunes at Kenfig National Nature Reserve, Bridgend, in 2011.
Wardens can no longer count them in one day as there are so many, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service. The success has been attributed to the work of wardens and volunteers managing the 1,300-acre (530-hectare) reserve.
The Telegraph report a rare and beautiful wildflower is being reintroduced to the countryside by Kew Gardens and the plant charity Plantlife after it was mistaken for a weed and killed off by farmers and gardeners.
The red hemp-nettle was once common in southern England and South Wales but the use of herbicides, fertilisers and the spread of highly productive crop varieties have led to it almost vanishing from fields.
The Independent reports tens of thousands of trees planted to mitigate the environmental impact of the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) route have died following the 2018 summer drought.
More than one-third of saplings planted in 2017-18 had to be replaced a year later, bosses admitted, as they said putting in new plants was cheaper than keeping the old ones alive. Some 89,000 trees planted between November 2017 and March 2018 later died, out of a total of 234,000 – or 38 per cent.
The TELEGRAPH reports Brexit no-deal planning meant a council destroyed 17,000 of Britain’s rarest orchids in one day – and it will take up to eight years for them to grow back.Volunteers from Kent Wildlife Trust had been lovingly tending the purple carpet of rare bee and common orchids for over 15 years.
Not only did they attract and sustain a thriving population of bees, but 20 different butterfly species were sustained by the verge.Now, all that remains of the verge is a lump of mud after Kent County Council ordered it to be bulldozed to make way for a drainage ditch due to Operation Brock, intended to tackle queues coming to and from Dover in the case of a No Deal Brexit.