Elm trees have been restored to Windsor Open Space for the first time since disease wiped them out more than 30 years ago.

Conservationists planted the saplings at the Windsor Road end of the large green space to boost its natural environment and mark the Queens’ Jubilee year.

Finchley Church End Councillor Graham Old, who has worked with the Friends of Windsor Open Space in the past, planted the first of six trees on Monday.

Friends chairman Dennis Pepper said: “It is very important because the elm in our landscape was a very distinctive and significant tree.

“They’re as important for the landscape as they are for the environment and we wanted to bring them back and encourage them to flourish again. It is a symbolic move and we’re delighted to be able to do it.”

The planting has particular significance at a time when the UK’s ash trees are under threat from fungal disease ash dieback, which some fear could wipe out 90 per cent of the population.

Mr Pepper said: “Around 30 per cent of the trees in the open space are ash and it is quite probable that the make-up of the trees will begin to look quite different in a few years.

“We’re looking to enhance the natural environment here while allowing it to flourish naturally, and we want people to realise how important this space is.”

The elm trees were donated by environmental organisation Roots for Shoots, which is also sending volunteers to help plant a wild flower meadow at the open space in the new year.

Ruth Geiger, vice-chairman of the Friends of Windsor Open Space said: “It is exciting times for the open space. We want to enhance the beauty and make it pleasurable for everyone throughout the seasons. We’re being proactive and bringing back and restoring the beauty to the area.”