Storm damage

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Following significant damage after recent storms, urgent and ongoing intervention and care is required at many of our places.

We’re currently responding to extreme weather events, from Storm Arwen in late November last year to the more recent storms Malik and Corrie. In Aberdeenshire, almost a million trees have been lost, dramatically changing the landscapes which hold so many fond memories. Further south, we’ve seen the seal population at St Abb’s Head NNR devastated, and damage to historic structures across Scotland. Urgent and ongoing intervention and care is required. If you can, please donate today to our general fund. Your donation will be used where the need is greatest.

Storm damage

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Storm Arwen

Our properties in the northeast of the country were particularly badly affected, taking the brunt of the storm. Sites lost power and water for several days, and there were trees down across the region, with the loss at some properties being measured in the hundreds. In turn, the fallen trees have caused damage to bridges and buildings.

Across the country, many woodlands have suffered, and visitors are being urged to stay away from some areas until they can be made safe for visitors once again. At Castle Fraser, around 200 trees have fallen. The Pittendreigh wood at Leith Hall has been badly damaged. At Crathes Castle, all estate trails were blocked; it was a similar story at Haddo House and Brodie Castle.

An aerial image showing a snowy landscape with a large loch in the foreground. Beside it are significant areas of flattened woodland, with huge numbers of trees lying on the ground.
An aerial image from Haddo House showing the extent of the damage to the woodlands

St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve is also suffering in the wake of the storm. The reserve, situated on the east coast, has received national coverage, with the distressing news that many seal pups perished.

Ranger Ciaran Hatsell is based there, where the area was without power for many days. He said: ‘Very sadly it appears we have lost the majority of our seal pups to this storm. This is a risk grey seals take with their breeding strategy, pupping at this time of year when storms are most frequent. But for this kind of phenomenal storm to hit at the peak of pupping is exceptional.’

A survey carried out just before the storm suggested 2021 was set to be another record-breaking year for seals pups at the Berwickshire site, with 1,780 pups counted. It is thought that around 800 of these pups died as a result of the storm.

Storms Malik and Corrie

Coming in quick succession in late January this year, these storms resulted in the loss of over 70 trees at Inverewe Garden, the greatest number being the oldest specimens. In addition, around 80 plants in Inverewe’s rhododendron collection have been lost. Many of these were planted by Inverewe’s creator, Osgood Mackenzie, and were over 130 years old.

Staff are dealing with removing the most dangerous of the debris, and it will take time to clear up the full extent of the damage. The team will research and plan the next steps, and then dedicate both human and financial resource to the repair and restoration processes.

Recovery from these storms will take time and we will keep you up to date with our progress.

A close-up image of large fallen trees and branches.
Significant damage at Inverewe

Storm damage

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