The Great Storm’s lessons in nature


Woodland Matters

In October 1987 a weather report told us not to worry, no hurricane was on the way. It was gravely wrong and the worst storm for 300 years hit the UK. Winds of up to 122 mph swept across southern England and the Midlands; landing in Cornwall and leaving via the Wash, Norfolk. It infamously became known as the ‘Great Storm’.

Around 15 million mature trees were ripped from the ground as hurricane winds caused carnage across the landscape. They decimated woods, parks and gardens; blocked roads and smashed cars; ripped roofs from buildings; killed 18 people; left millions of homes and buildings without electricity and water; and cost the British insurance industry more money than any event before or since.

Forty one Woodland Trust woods sustained significant damage, including Blean Woods and Ashenbank in Kent (both Sites of Special Scientific Interest), Tyrrels Wood in Norfolk, and America Wood on the Isle…

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