Wych elm is a native woodland tree found mostly in the northern areas of Britain. Sadly, most large and old trees have been lost to Dutch Elm disease. Uses of elm are primarily for the wood. It has great strength, durability, a tight-twisted grain and is resistant to water.  Before metal was widely available many English towns had elm water mains, including Bristol, Reading, Exeter, Southampton, Hull and Liverpool. Some of these old water mains still survive and are occasionally dug up during building works. The foliage was also used for feeding and bedding domestic livestock.