Preston Park Gilded Twin

Audio recording by Peter Bourne, Elm tree expert

The Secret Garden Kemp Town, Bristol Gardens, Brighton, BN2 5JE

An iconic Brighton Elm, one of the Preston Park Twins, and the oldest and largest Elm in the world, had to be felled due to Elm Disease. Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva will preserve and celebrate this popular tree and restore it back to Preston Park.

The tree has been moved to The Secret Garden in Kemp Town where Elpida will work on it. Once completed the tree will be shown in The Secret Garden 2022 and then returned to Preston Park. For further details click here.

Brighton & Hove Council, Antony Dale Trust (The Secret Garden), Connick Tree Care, Friends of Preston Park and many other individuals and businesses are supporting the project.

Much of the UK's Elm population is lost. Brighton and Hove host the largest collections of Elms and holds a critically important role of preserving this native species.

The final work will keep the shape, form and size of the elm with a new 23.5ct gold leaf design to create a jewel for Preston Park, transforming the tree into a celebration of the Preston Twins history and cultural significance.

The project aims to raise more publicity for the disease control campaign on Elm disease and other trees threatening diseases. We'll inform students, local people and the wider public about the history and consequences of this terrible disease, and the role we can all play in preventing it’s spread and preserving this species. The trees may be lost, but they need to live in our memory, knowledge and experience. This project is a final opportunity to hold and celebrate this disappearing past.

To view the special trees map created by Vivienne Barton click here.

You can contribute by volunteering or offering services.
Contact Elpida:


If you take photos or selfies with the tree and post to social media, please tag with: @elpidahadzivasileva #elpidahadzivasileva OR please share with me:

Visit for more information.

Please visit JustGiving to donate to the project.

Supporting organisations:
  • City Parks Brighton & Hove City Council
  • The Secret Garden/Antony Dale Trust
  • The Artists Agency
  • The Living Coast
  • Dorothy Stringer School
  • Balfour Primary School
  • Site-Eye Time-Lapse Films
  • William Ranieri
  • Alister Peters
  • Marc Thomas
  • Alison Bettles
  • Brighton & Hove City Council
  • Friends of Preston Park
  • Connick Tree Care
  • Yates Scaffolding