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Storm damage to West Norfolk landmark's grounds 'will take centuries to repair', trust warns



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Officials responsible for the management of a West Norfolk stately home and its grounds have warned that damage caused by recent high winds could take centuries to fix.

Several trees were brought down at Oxburgh Hall during the storms which have swept across the area in the past week.

And the National Trust, which runs the site, says many other sites in its care across the region have also been badly affected.

A tree is blown down in My Lady's Wood at Oxburgh Hall (Credit) National Trust Racheal Hunt.jpg (55058614)
A tree is blown down in My Lady's Wood at Oxburgh Hall (Credit) National Trust Racheal Hunt.jpg (55058614)

The damage caused by storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin has only now started to become apparent, as the clean-up operation gets into full swing.

At Oxburgh, the damage included an alder tree which fell and damaged a drawbridge leading into the area known as My Lady's Wood. Several other trees were also brought down.

Tom Hill, Trees and Woodlands Advisor at the National Trust in the East of England, said: “It’s always incredibly sad to see our places sustain storm damage.

The bridge within My Lady's Wood at Oxburgh Hall sustains damaged from a fallen Alder (credit) National Trust Racheal Hunt.jpg (55058611)
The bridge within My Lady's Wood at Oxburgh Hall sustains damaged from a fallen Alder (credit) National Trust Racheal Hunt.jpg (55058611)

“Severe weather events like these only add further urgency to the National Trust's plans to establish 20 million new trees by 2030, to help mitigate the impacts of global climate change and net biodiversity loss.

“If scientists’ predictions are correct, we can expect storms like these to become more frequent and even more intense over the years ahead.

“Our trees are already under stress from increasingly drier conditions and the continual onset of new and expanding pests and diseases.

“Many of those we're losing have stood as important landmarks and habitats for centuries and you could argue that they're irreplaceable in terms of what they offer to us and the world around them.

General View of Oxburgh Hall. (16855745)
General View of Oxburgh Hall. (16855745)

“It will take us several centuries to restore such incredible natural features and there's no time to lose if future generations are to enjoy trees as old and beautiful as those we've just lost.”

The trust had already launched a fundraising appeal, in the wake of Storm Arwen in November, to help restore woodlands affected by the bad weather. Donations can be made here.

Officials have also urged would-be visitors to check before setting out for any alternative directions that may be in place.



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