Wiltshire

Stourhead estate loses hundreds of trees in storms

Tree brought down in storms at Stourhead Image copyright National Trust
Image caption In Stourhead's garden about a dozen trees came down on Friday, with about 20 lost since Christmas

Up to 400 trees - including a 200-year-old oak - have been lost during the storms at a National Trust estate.

The gardens at Stourhead, in Wiltshire, were "badly affected" by strong winds on Friday night when about 12 trees came down.

The storms have left big gaps in Lime Avenue and it could take staff a year to clear up the gardens and woodland.

Since Christmas about 400 trees have fallen across the wider estate.

'Spectacular'

One of the most significant loses was a huge oak tree, which took down six other trees as it collapsed.

Alan Power, head gardener at the attraction near Warminster, said staff are now trying to catalogue the damage.

"In the garden over the past three or four weeks we've lost around 20 fine specimens," he said.

"We've lost one spectacular oak tree, which could well be between 200 and 250-years-old and planted by the man who created the landscape garden at Stourhead."

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption A spokesman for the National Trust said 400 trees came down across the wider estate, including the woodland nearby

Mr Power, who lives on the estate said Friday night saw some of the worst weather.

"I lay awake genuinely worried on Friday night about the place, and about the trees and about the collection," he said.

"It's been fairly horrendous for us."

Image copyright National Trust
Image caption Head gardener Alan Power said Friday was a "horrible night" with the whole area "battered"

But Mr Power said storms like those seen since Christmas are all part of the estate's history and urged people to still visit the gardens.

"If people can come along and they do see the trees on the ground they'll realise it's not just a one off, it happens throughout the history of the estate and it is part of working so closely with nature," he said.

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