The National Trust in Pembrokeshire is counting the cost of the county’s recent storms.
Staff estimate it will cost over £25,000 to repair damage to their woodlands, involving several weeks of work by National Trust rangers, volunteers and local tree surgeons.
Many large, mature trees have been uprooted on the Stackpole estate; at Colby Woodland Garden, near Amroth and Little Milford Woods, near Haverfordwest.
Said Jonathan Hughes, general manager for the National Trust in Pembrokeshire: “We’re working hard to remove the fallen trees and repair damaged footpaths and fences, but this will mean some disruption to rights-of-way in the coming weeks.
“We’ve also had to close some paths because trees are leaning over them. These, too, will need to be cut down before visitors can safely use the paths again.”
The fallen wood will all be put to good use, with some being left in situ to increase bio-diversity by providing homes for insects, ferns and fungi. At Stackpole, the wood will be dried, seasoned and then chipped to fuel the biomass boiler heating the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre, and across Pembrokeshire, the Trust’s holiday cottages with wood burners will also benefit.
The unforeseen work caused by the storms is an additional drain on the charity’s budget, at a time when the staff and volunteers are busy preparing for the new visitor season.
Colby Woodland Garden’s manager, Steve Whitehead, said: “Our visitors need to be aware that this work will be ongoing, and whether they’re on the wider Colby Estate or in the woodland garden, walkers may find paths closed off for their own safety.”