So, the biggest storm of the winter hit on the 23rd February, Storm Doris… or, perfectly monikered by the tabloid press, Doris Day. With winds of up to 95mph tearing across the countryside, it was expected that some damage would occur here on the farm, particularly as we can be fairly exposed to the elements.
However, it seems that we have avoided the worst that she could throw at us, with only a handful of trees falling, none of which caused any further damage. There were a couple down in the woodland used by the Forest School, which we’ll tidy up around the edges and leave the rest for the kids to use as an obstacle course, but otherwise we seem to have been very lucky.
Most of the damaged trees are carrying a lot of ivy through their boughs, which acts like large sails in the wind, adding unnecessary strain. Another reminder (as if it’s needed!) of having to get out with a hatchet and cut away the additional weight that’s growing up some of our more majestic trees – leaving the ivy on some of the less attractive specimens will provide essential habitat for birds and insects .
Update: I spoke too soon! Just been alerted that one of the trees split awkwardly in the wind, about 4 – 5 metres up , with the less stable section hung up in another stem way up high. And see that post and rope in the bottom right corner of the photo? That’s a hand rail for a path and steps, right underneath the tree, in the small woodland that is home to the Forest School.
Thankfully, the guy from the forest school who’s responsible for running things is also a qualified tree surgeon, so I’ll happily leave the hard stuff to him. I’ll need to hold the ropes though, and help deal with things afterwards. Glad I’m not having to climb up that one…