During the summer of 2009, several of us have noticed that nearly all the elder bushes along the main path through Big Wood, on the western side of Allestree Park have been attacked! Many have been bodily pulled out of the ground and left to die.
At first this seemed like casual vandalism but it quickly became apparent that only elder bushes were being targeted.
I can only think that someone has a prejudice against this species of shrub. Granted, in a garden, they can be a problem, but out in the woods, they are extremely valuable to wildlife. Although the fruits themselves are not palatable in their raw state they do make an excellent wine, as do the flowers.
Apart from this, the Friends are trying to encourage the growth of native under-shrubs in the woods so this misguided destruction of elder undermines our work.
Please let us know if you have any clue on who might be carrying out this vendetta against elders!
Bill Grange, September 2009