Storms bring down veteran trees at National Trust's Wimpole Estate

It's believed the horse chestnut that came down at Wimpole Estate was around 250 years old.

It's believed the horse chestnut that came down at Wimpole Estate was around 250 years old. - Credit: Frogend_dweller / Supplied by National Trust

Recent storms have brought down veteran trees and those that formed part of the National Collection at Wimpole Estate.

Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice and Storm Franklin have left their mark on the National Trust estate in Arrington, Cambridgeshire, near Royston.

Twelve trees were lost at Wimpole, the most significant being a walnut tree that was part of both a historical avenue and a National Collection.

Other notable trees included a 40-year-old Atlantic Cedar, and two 150ft, 155-year-old Sequoia trees have lost a significant number of branches.

Storm Dudley brought down a horse chestnut at Wimpole.

Storm Dudley brought down a horse chestnut at Wimpole. - Credit: Frogend_dweller / Supplied by National Trust

A 250-year-old horse chestnut, which once stood proud in the Pleasure Grounds, was also brought down by Storm Dudley.

With only a handful of mature specimens still standing in this ancient garden landscape, losing a character veteran like this reduces the maturity of a garden.

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.

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"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."  

The full extent of the damage across all National Trust sites is still being assessed after high winds continued into Monday. 

Tom Hill added: “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.  

“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 National Trust is asking supporters to donate what they can to its woodlands fundraising appeal to help the charity with restoration now and in the future. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/woodlands-appeal