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Stormy weather leads to ‘heartbreaking’ loss of trees at National Trust park

PUBLISHED: 16:52 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:52 01 October 2020

A sweet chestnut tree felled by strong winds on Sheringham Park's Valley Route. Picture: Malcolm Fisher

A sweet chestnut tree felled by strong winds on Sheringham Park's Valley Route. Picture: Malcolm Fisher

Archant

Stormy weather has led to the “heartbreaking” loss of a number of trees on a north Norfolk estate which has been forced to remain closed for more than a week while the park is made safe.

A snowdrop tree in Sheringham Park is one of the casualties of the gale force winds which battered the county over the last weekend of September. Picture: Malcolm FisherA snowdrop tree in Sheringham Park is one of the casualties of the gale force winds which battered the county over the last weekend of September. Picture: Malcolm Fisher

Sheringham Park, on the north Norfolk coast, will remain closed until Tuesday October 6, while fallen trees are cleared and the park is made safe following gale force winds which battered the county over the weekend.

The National Trust property was one of several in the area which closed on Friday, September 25 ahead of the bad weather.

Malcolm Fisher, the visitor experience and retail manager at Sheringham Park, said the prolonged closure would cost the park as estimated £5,000, a loss which didn’t include the cost of the clean-up operation.

Mr Fisher said there were a number large trees which had either had lost branches, were thought to be unsafe or come down in the bad weather and which were blocking the main routes through the estate.

Malcolm Fisher, visitor experience and retail manager at Sheringham Park in north NorfolkMalcolm Fisher, visitor experience and retail manager at Sheringham Park in north Norfolk

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He said because the park and its sister sites at Felbrigg and West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath had also been badly affected by the weekend’s weather the clean-up operation was taking longer than expected.

Mr Fisher said: “Normally, when you get strong winds, one property will get hit quite badly and the other two seem to escape but all three properties have been badly hit.”

He said the storm’s casualties included a large horse chestnut along the park’s valley path, a snowdrop flower tree and some older Ash trees.

Hanging branches have contributed to the clean up effort in Sheringham Park following the weekend's strong winds. Picture: Malcolm FisherHanging branches have contributed to the clean up effort in Sheringham Park following the weekend's strong winds. Picture: Malcolm Fisher

“We have lost some older Ash trees in the park and currently at Felbrigg they’ve lost some big beech trees, there’s lots of history there but the older a tree gets [the more at risk it is].

“The snowdrop tree was one of my favourites and to see that go is really sad.

“It’s heartbreaking to see those trees come down. I was working with the team at Felbrigg and the root plate of one tree [which has come down] was twice my height, that was 200-250 years old and it’s just gone in a storm,” he said.


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