Arwen Damage
When Storm Arwen hit the East Coast of the UK at the end of November it left a trail of devastation through a number of communities. Though the headlines focused on the lack of power and water, a much longer term impact is still to be seen in the woodlands.
Coming from an extremely atypical direction (North North West) with 100MPH gusts, the storm caught a number of trees and woods and caused a great deal of damage.
The first thing that we have all had to do is to make things safe and secure.  A number of trees had fallen on roads, cables and fences.  Further trees planted beside fences had fallen over and their root discs had lifted fences out of the ground.
Standard Oak Tree Felled by Arwen

Individual Trees

One of the saddest aspects is where individual “special” were blown over.  This 120 year Oak was particularly nice with a classic English Oak Shape.  This particular tree was a sad loss, I remember spending much time up it as a small boy!  We are saving some wood from it to have turned into bowls so it isn’t completely lost!


Triangle wood post arwen

Woods and Coverts

In some cases complete sections of woods were blown over.  In this particular case a stand of mixed woodland was caught from a side which is normally sheltered.  Whilst we lost a number of scots pines, there is a good dense understory left.  Once we have sorted out the dangerous trees, this should produce a good clearing!

Whilst we have been focused on making things safe and secure so far,  its all been about “quick and dirty” repairs.   We have been doing lots of thinking about how we can move forward to make the most of the damage.

There is a seed bank in much of this fresh ground and we hope that we should see some good natural regeneration.  We have also, for some years, been spreading locally collected tree seeds, mainly thorns, rowans and other hedgerow species, in order to generate understories in the various woods.  Hopefully, this Natural Regeneration will be rather more diverse than the orginal shelter planting.

We have also managed to collect a number of other birch seeds, along with a number of pioneer species to generate a bit of nursery cover in the more exposed areas.    In addition to a number of clearings, I hope the that the legacy of storm Arwen will be essentially positive.