The environment team of Winchester Rotary, in cooperation with various local institutions, has successfully planted 51 disease-resistant elm trees around Winchester.

The initiative took place at several locations, including St. Giles Hill Graveyard, IBM Hursley, Royal Winchester Golf Club, and schools such as St. Peter’s, Westgate, and St. Swithun’s.

The Rotary team, led by Dave Stewart, and project lead, Mark Butcher, managed to leverage an offer from Hampshire Forest Partnership, which furnished the saplings along with protective guards and stakes.

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Joined by a number of other volunteers, Stewart and co began the project on March 1 under challenging weather conditions at St. Peter’s Catholic Primary School.

By March 11, they had wrapped up in more favourable conditions at the Royal Winchester Golf Club. The students from St. Peter’s, Westgate and St. Swithun’s schools, were very engaged, going as far as to name their trees.

Simultaneously at Hursley, Rotary members planted alongside IBM employees who were participating in the Hampshire Hedge project, aiming to plant 2,000 tree saplings in a single day.

With Spring's efforts concluded, the Rotary environment team is already outlining its plans for the Autumn.

The team can be reached through