Weekend of wild winds adds to Trust storm toll

The National Trust for Scotland is once again cleaning up after a weekend of storms caused damage to trees and structures on January, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 12:06 pm
The storms have caused widespread damage at National Trust for Scotland properties in the north east (Photo: NTS)
The storms have caused widespread damage at National Trust for Scotland properties in the north east (Photo: NTS)

Right across the country, from the impressive, designed landscapes of the estates of the North East including Fyvie Castle, Castle Fraser and Crathes Castle, to the shelterbelt at Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross, the woodlands at Killiecrankie and The Hermitage in Perthshire and as far south as Priorwood Garden in the Borders, hundreds of trees, already weakened by Storm Arwen in November 2021, have been uprooted, branches lost and paths and drives blocked.

There’s also been damage to roofs and historic structures across Scotland, including the Phantassie Doocot in East Lothian and at Fyvie Castle, a shed was flattened, causing damage to expensive mowing equipment, just as spring is on the horizon. On the Mar Lodge Estate, the project to repair the Victoria Bridge has also been set back as the temporary protective structure that’s in place while the works take place is damaged.

This latest blow comes while the conservation charity continues to clear up after Storm Arwen which is estimated to have caused the loss of around 1 million trees on Trust sites in the North East alone.

On the Mar Lodge Estate, the project to repair the Victoria Bridge has also been set back as the temporary protective structure that’s in place while the works take place is damaged (Photo: NTS)

Chief Executive Philip Long OBE said: “We’re working hard to recover from these latest wild weather events and we know that more are forecast throughout February. This is a pattern that’s expected to continue due to climate change and is a real challenge for our charity, especially coming so soon after Storm Arwen. Once again our teams, many of whom have lost power to their own homes, are doing fantastic work to deal with the damage in such difficult circumstances. While we have plans in place to deal with such situations, these events are increasing in frequency and divert time and resources away from planned conservation projects as we work to repair, and then repair again, the damage inflicted. We’re very grateful for any donations which will help us to respond where the need is most urgent.”

Donations can be made at www.nts.org.uk/donate.

General Manager for the North East, Iain Hawkins said: “Our teams are hard at work clearing up after these latest storms which have had a huge impact across so many of the places we protect. Access to some of our estates may be limited over the next few days while our teams focus on making places safe and clearing up. We’d urge the public to please check before travelling to any sites for the next few days and when onsite, follow any instructions about closures – this is for everyone’s safety.”

The National Trust for Scotland is the conservation charity that over 90 years has saved, maintained and shared many of the country’s most loved places, rich with history, heritage, nature and culture. The charity celebrates Scotland’s heritage and with more than 100 places in its care, there’s a place for everyone to love. Support the National Trust for Scotland and help them protect the places we all love. Become a member at www.nts.org.uk.