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Gloucestershire elm could help bolster the tree's population in the UK

An old tree discovered on a remote island in Gloucestershire could help repopulate the UK with elms.

The elm, found at Cotswold Water Park, is being used to parent a new generation of saplings after the species was almost wiped out in the 1960s and 70s.

Dutch elm disease, which still remains a threat today, killed more than 25 million of the trees during the period - leaving just 100 in the whole of Britain.

In May 2010, experts found four smooth-leaved elm trees on two remote islands at the Cotswold Water Park.

Ecologist Benedict Pollard, who discovered the trees, now known as the Coln Park elms, estimates that the largest is more than 100 years old.

It's wonderful that the cuttings have taken root, and there are now saplings of the Coln Park elm that can be used to help reintroduce one of the greatest native trees back to the British countryside."

– Benedict Pollard

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