Open-top bus event at special Elm tree in Nether Edge, Sheffield

Friday 22nd July 2016

White Letter Hairstreak Butterfly (c) Geoff LambertsonWhite Letter Hairstreak Butterfly (c) Geoff Lambertson

Earlier this year, we wrote to Streets Ahead and the Independent Tree Panel and about the importance of a mature Elm tree in Nether Edge. The tree itself is a rare example of a mature Elm that has survived Dutch Elm disease. We also confirmed that is hosts a colony of the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly – which only lives on Elm.

The species has declined 97% in 40 years and is now a biodiversity action plan priority species. The tree is under a potential threat from felling as part of the Sheffield Streets Ahead contract, because of damage it is causing to the highway.

The local 'Save Nether Edge Trees' group are organising a 'Save the Elm Tree' event at the tree on Union Rd/Chelsea Rd on Thursday 28th July 10.30-3.30pm. The local group have organised an open top bus for people to come and have a better look at the tree and possibly try to glimpse the elusive White-letter Hairstreak.

We will be one of the supporting organisations present on the day to celebrate this important tree, and our in-house butterfly expert Ben Keywood will be armed with information about butterflies and how you can encourage them into your garden. The event is open to all and we hope some of you will come down to the celebration to find out more.

Living Landscape Development Manager Nicky Rivers says:
“We are supporting this event as we think this Elm tree is a special case because of the rarity of the tree itself and the importance of White-letter Hairstreak butterfly colony it supports – a declining priority species. This is a tree where all options should be explored fully to avoid felling and we would like to work with local residents, Streets Ahead, the Independent Tree Panel and the local groups to find a solution to retain this magnificent tree. We encourage people to come along to learn more about the Elm and butterflies at this community event.”

The Independent Tree Panel are currently considering the Elm Tree amongst a number of referrals – we await their recommendation and the final decision by Sheffield City Council.

Read more about Sheffield Street Trees