UK & World News
Tree Populations Ravaged By Winter Storms
The winter storms that battered the UK have resulted in the greatest loss of trees in a generation in some areas, according to the National Trust.
Surveys of more than 50 woodlands, parks and gardens managed by the trust have revealed that many have suffered the worst damage in more than two decades.
On some properties, the last time so many trees were uprooted was during the 'Great Storm' of 1987.
At least a dozen storms swept in from the south west between December and February, with the west of England, Wales and Northern Ireland hit particularly hard.
But National Trust properties at Tatton Park near Manchester, Nymans in Sussex and Scotney Castle in Kent have also been affected.
Many trees were blown over rather than being snapped at the trunk, because the ground was so saturated.
Killerton Estate in Devon suffered some of the biggest losses, with more than 500 trees felled, including 20 that were significant to the landscape of the estate.
In Stourhead, Wiltshire, 400 trees were lost, including an oak which could have been 200 to 250 years old.
Nature and wildlife specialist at the Trust Matthew Oates said: "People love and need trees, and the loss of specimen trees in gardens and parks, and of ancient beeches and oaks in the woods and the wider countryside, hurts us all and damages much wildlife.
"Increased storminess, and the increased extreme weather events generally, are likely to stress trees further, especially veteran trees.
"We will have to think carefully about where we establish trees and what species to plant."
It is likely that nature will restore areas of damaged woodland.
The October 1987 storm brought down 15 million trees across southern England.
But the gaps in forests created new habitats for wildlife, and were eventually closed in by the growth of new trees.
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