VILLAGERS in Embsay are hoping it is third time lucky for their new elm tree.

Workmen planted a new 20-feet specimen last Thursday, after Dutch elm disease and brittle branches caused the demise of the last two.

The disease-free Dutch Elm was shipped in from Holland overnight by a specialist supplier, organised by National Grid. The power distribution company stepped in as a goodwill gesture to residents, who have suffered disruption due to gas pipeline work in the area.

National Grid press officer Jeanette Jackson said the company wanted to thank residents for putting up with heavy vehicles and mud on the road.

She added: "We are aware we do have an impact when we are working in areas."

The company was advised that to get a mature specimen from England would be difficult, so staff sought out a leading supplier from Holland and had a prize specimen sent over.

Mrs Jackson said: "It is a well-established, healthy tree. There is a good chance it will be there for many years to come."

The last tree was a Chinese elm which was planted in 1987, but its branches proved too brittle and it was removed a year ago.

That tree replaced the original elm, which had stood since 1867 until it was lost to Dutch elm disease.