The Elm

As many of you will have seen, the beautiful elm tree that used to be such a feature on the crescent green in Rossendale Way was fatally damaged during the high winds last Friday afternoon (21 August 2020) and now is no more.
A tree surgeon was called out, arrived about 6pm, assessed the tree as not saveable, and then set about making the area safe.

The tree surgeon and team returned after the weekend and the job is now complete. All that is now left is a flat stump just a few inches high and a pile of wood pieces.
If you would like a memento of the tree, please do come and take a piece, but be prepared: It’s rough sawn wood and deceptively heavy.

What Happened
Shortly after 3:30pm last Friday a gust from the Storm Ellen winds caught one of the main branches and caused it to collapse, totally covering two parked cars and blocking several people in their houses. Less than ten minutes later a second branch was blown down, covering even more of the green and blocking access to several more houses – now over half the crescent.

We were incredibly lucky indeed that no one was hurt. We were also fortunate, especially considering the sheer weight of wood that came down, that property damage was minimal. A smashed rear windscreen, one smashed door mirror, some dents and scrapes, a couple of cracked garden fences, a few squashed plants and shrubs – and that was it!


Very sad that the elm that has been part of living in Elm Village since the beginning has now gone but we have discussed options with Places for People and are planning to get a new elm planted in the same spot next year. As is the horticulture of elms, its new roots will in time integrate with the old elm’s roots. New generation and old together. Continuity and a new beginning

Beauty in our midst

Even in these dark days of Coronavirus there are still reasons to feel uplifted right on our doorsteps. Resident and volunteer Ed Lee has been busy improving the gardening areas for everyone to enjoy. Hoses have been replaced where necessary and made secure to prevent trip hazards, as well as to provide ease of use. The path has been levelled and extended and laid with gravel in order to deter weeds. It is now also possible to push the wheelbarrow along it.

Edges on the lower slope have been shored up and strengthened.
Steps linking the top tier with the bottom have been laid and made secure. The composting areas have been rearranged, as have the seating areas.

Additionally, Ed has cleared away debris from various members’ plots which not only improves the appearance but also means there is no unwanted ‘creep’ to surrounding areas.

There has been quite a lot of deterioration in some of the structural woodwork, as well as hazards from screws coming adrift; Ed has made temporary repairs where possible, and the problem has been reported to PfP which is in the process of responding.

Elm Village Wildlife Survey 2018

EVTRA wishes to monitor and keep a record of environmental observations and changes.  We therefore invite all residents to report things of interest which they see. We are thinking of: animals, birds, insects, butterflies, trees, shrubs. flowers and plants.

Just send us a message through the website.

If you want to share photos of wildlife sightings, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (see sidebar).

You are welcome to write at length, but all we need is what was seen, a date and (rough) time and place.  

Please also give your name and a means of contact. This is so that, in the event of something of wider significance (e.g., the appearance of a badger) we can follow up and involve the appropriate agency. But we shall under no circumstances reveal or use your name and details without your permission.

Bees in Elm Village allotments by the canal

Elm Village: a bee-friendly place

Beekeeping in Elm Village allotments began in 2014 using start-up funding provided by Pfp. Two colonies of Buckfast bees, known for their quiet natures, were purchased from Fragile Plant. Peter McGinty and Helene Fawcett looked after the hives for the first couple of years, Helene having attended a self-funded course, Urban Beekeeping, run by Brian McCallum, a professional beekeeping inspector, and author of several books on beekeeping, held at Camley Street Wildlife park.

Since then the bees have been kept by Helene and Rob Small with further training provided by courses run by North London Beekeepers’ Association at the Kenwood Apiary. They are currently assisted by Tom Inman and Sophie Geoghegan, both of whom have been trained in sustainable beekeeping.

All costs associated with training courses, as well as stock, equipment and supplies are met by the beekeepers.

The beekeepers welcome interest and involvement from EVTRA members. Please contact North London Beekeepers’ Association if you are interested in training courses. Or just come and talk to us.


An Elm Village resident has some plants available they wish to move from their garden. These include an Elder and foxgloves. If interested contact us through the contact form.

Pride movie based on Evtra’s Mike Jackson

Mike Jackson. Photo Horticulture Week.
Mike Jackson. Photo Horticulture Week.

Many residents know Mike Jackson who was formerly with Camden Garden Centre. Many of you will not know, however, that Mike is a Hollywood A-lister. Just released in the cinemas now is a movie that’s based on Mike’s life as a gay activist.

The film is called Pride and stars Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy. Mike is played by Joseph Gilgun. The film is about a time in the mid-1980s when Mike and others formed the support group, Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, and adopted a Welsh mining town as their cause, raising funds for miners on the picket line.


The film in now on at the Camden Odeon.


Village is a buzzin’

If you attended the Big Lunch, you’ll no doubt have noticed the bee hives at the top of the allotments. The Elm Village bees have now arrived. EVTRA volunteers and staff from Camden Garden Centre helped get them get settled in place. The bees were kept in their temporary hives and then moved into their permanent hives.

EVTRA volunteers, Camden Garden Centre staff, and bees (not pictured, but buzzing curiously in the boxes.
EVTRA volunteers, Camden Garden Centre staff, and bees (not pictured, but buzzing curiously in the boxes).