Preston Park Elm part of Ancient Canopy celebrating Platinum Jubilee

We’re delighted to announce that the remaining Preston Park Twin Elm has been chosen as part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Trees to be dedicated to The Queen in celebration of the Platinum Jubilee. 

The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative recently announced the network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and 70 Ancient Trees across the United Kingdom which will form part of the Ancient Canopy celebrating The Queen’s 70 years of service. 

Elm trees in the city 

Brighton & Hove is home to the National Elm Collection. The city is internationally renowned for historic elms and its work managing elm disease

Most of the elm trees in Brighton & Hove were planted by the Victorians and Edwardians. Elm trees were popular because they can tolerate thin chalk soil and salty winds.  

The remaining 'Preston Twin' is thought to have the largest girth and be the oldest surviving English Elm in Europe. 

Councillor Amy Heley, co-chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee said: “The elms in Preston Park are a historic and important part of the city’s cultural heritage. 

“They have been much loved for centuries and, although sadly, we lost one of the Preston Park Twins to Elm Disease in 2019, the other is still treasured now by residents as they were hundreds of years ago. 

“It’s a real privilege to have the remaining twin being named as one of 70 trees in the Queens Green Canopy and one the residents of the city will be proud of.” 

The Preston Park Gilded Twin project 

The Preston Park Gilded twin, is a project by artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, aimed at raising awareness of Elm disease and the devastating effect that it is having upon our native species of Elm.  

The famous Preston Park Twin, felled back in 2019, due to elm disease, has been preserved and is being sculptured to create a jewel for Preston Park, keeping its shape, form and size with a new internal design.  

Although still under wraps at present, it has recently returned to the park and, once complete, will be there for everyone to appreciate and enjoy in years to come as a sculpture that celebrates the Preston Twins history and cultural significance.  

The project aims to raise more publicity for the disease control campaign on Elm disease and other trees threatening diseases.

You can support the Gilded Preston Twin project by contributing to Elpida's Just Giving appeal.  

Celebrating our living heritage 

Established over hundreds of years, the chosen woodlands and trees represent the diverse canopy of the four nations, it is a celebration of our living heritage.  

All the woodlands and trees have a story to tell. Some are famous specimens and others have a local significance. 

These ancient natural spaces hold significance and meaning for so many people in many different ways. 

They are symbols of community pride, places to connect socially and vital spaces for health and wellbeing activities. 

By sharing the stories behind the ancient woodlands and trees, as well as the incredible efforts that are made to protect them, The Queen’s Green Canopy aims to raise awareness of these treasured habitats and the importance of conserving them for future generations. 

Find out more about the Queens Green Canopy here. 

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