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The devastation caused by Storm Arwen - Trees of Rothbury and Surrounding Areas.

Updated: Jan 14, 2022

Many thanks to all contributors.

Take a look at these two pictures, taken by Jamie Wood. "Spot the Difference" says Jamie. The difference tells a terrible tale of the consequences of this horrendous storm.

The aftermath - Jamie Wood, Farmer at Prendwick Farm.

Was 'Arwen' an apt name for the storm which has left such a trail of devastation? 'Arwen' is Welsh, and its original meaning appears to have been something like 'Muse' or 'Fair' or 'Good'.

I think the next storm we encounter will be named 'Barra', which denotes the island in the Outer Hebrides. Let us hope that 'Barra' is a lot weaker than Arwen...

Here are some more photos by Jamie Wood - woodland seen from above. It looks like a giant has run a comb through the trees, laying them flat on the land. The power of this storm was phenomenal. Horrendous.

Below is a typical scene - a mature tree ripped out of the ground by the roots.

Photo credit Margaret Hedley. Alnwick Moor

The next two photographs show the 'wood' at Simonside and the access road through the Lordenshaw 'wood' car park. Alan Winlow took them. He comments: "The scenes are reminiscent of WW1 battlefields after a bombardment"

We have to agree.

Below: The Somme, WW1

Alan continues: "When will people in positions of power DO something meaningful about climate change?". Hopefully, the answer to this is 'NOW'.

Mark Anthony Wiig agrees with Alan: "The storm just snapped the trees in half. It looks like a war zone".

Mark Anthony Wiig's photo.

Below are images from around Thrum Mill and Farm, by the River Coquet.

Thrum Mill and Farm (Debbie Noble photo)

Trees down at Thrum (thank you to Debbie Noble for the photographs).

National Trust trees in the area have felt the mighty force of this storm. At Wallington, thousands of trees have fallen.

Staff there reported the "worst destruction caused by a storm in 40 years and said that the fallen trees included those planted by Sir Walter Calverley Blackett. In addition, the Atholl Larch - the last remaining of six larch trees given to Wallington in 1738 by the Duke of Atholl - has been split in two". (Chronicle)

Cragside has also suffered. The Trust says that the damage could take 'decades to repair'.

"Andy Jasper, head of gardens and parklands at the National Trust, said the storm had delivered a “huge blow to British heritage”.

With it being National Tree Week we had expected to be celebrating the extraordinary trees in our care - not witnessing the scale of destruction we have" (Independent).

Forestry England has closed many forests while they assess the terrible damage.

"Kevin May, forest management director for North England, said: "This was a very significant storm and it's caused a lot of damage.

"Our immediate concern is for people who live and work in the forest and we are working intensively to restore some kind of normality.

"Many of our woodlands will still be dangerous and are simply not safe for visitors at the moment.

"There is also the risk from hanging trees - those that have been blown over, but have been caught on other trees.

"These can fall with little or no warning.

"Our message is to stay clear for the time-being and that will speed the recovery."

Forestry England said once it is safe, a major clear-up operation will begin." (BBC News)

(Photograph by Forestry England) This is the road from Rothbury to Elsdon.

Below are images by Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team in Alwinton. The team were deployed to one of the most remote farm houses in Northumberland to deliver some urgent medication on behalf of Rothbury Practice. They report

"On the drive there, the devastation caused by Storm Arwen was plain to see, particularly in the forests. Swathes of woods including Harbottle, Kidland, and Uswayford, amongst others in our operational area, have all been affected by uprooted trees, loose branches, and blocked access. There is the risk from hanging trees – those that have been blown over, but have been caught on other trees – which could fall with little or no warning."

I know the whole community send their heartfelt gratitude to this wonderful team.






In Alnwick, Emma Bell took these photographs of two huge trees by the Lion Column. Emma says: "I was sad to see these being completely wiped out by the storm - they were such an amazing feature in that bit of the park, it is such a shame to see them down."

Below are more photos sent in from Mark Anthony Wigg, thank you.

Mark Anthony Wiig - Harbottle - Peels Bridge

Mark Anthony Wigg: Clearing the road into Harbottle

Alnham Timber

Here is a sequence of pictures from Alnham Timber. Thank you so much for allowing me to use these - and for clearing up these poor trees. They say: " It's been an eventful few days for the team at Alnham Timber (mucklechoppers) helping the local community to clear up after the storm - it's shocking to see the utter devastation left behind".

Northumberland Gazette

By Alan Winlow (above)

Judie and Ali Freeman, from Harbottle, are asking for donations to help with the devastation their woods have suffered. Ramshaugh Woods, Harbottle.

Judie says: What's left of the Fairy Woods..

Unfortunately, most of this good building timber is ruined. The extreme stress forced through the fibres of the wood weakens the timber making it now unsuitable for building our new home.


All of our communities are so indebted to so many people. We all thank you so very much.

If you would like to send your photographs I will put them on here as a record. You can email or send to the FB Group The Trees of Rothbury and Surrounding Areas.

NB - this storm has created havoc. But there is always hope. Thank you to Barbara Campbell for this picture of a tree felled by a storm years ago in Suffolk. She says: "The tree, though fallen, is growing upwards from the trunk on the ground".

The symbolism of this hopeful image is evident.


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