December 8 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Trees across the region were already bowing as they bore the brunt of high winds today, and with gusts expected to reach 80mph by tomorrow morning, the risk of them falling is set to increase.
Community groups across the county however said they were taking the weather in their stride and didn’t believe falling trees would affect too many people.
While they added that those with their leaves, coupled with wet ground, could be more unstable, those the EDP spoke to said the timing of the storm meant there would be few people out and about, and that fallen trees were good for the ground beneath.
Ann Roberts, chairman of the Wymondham Nature Group, said there was very little preparation that could be done to protect woodlands.
“It could make it difficult if you’ve got soft ground and a heavy top, it could pull the trees down, but I think people aren’t that worried,” she said. “The last one wasn’t that bad here and I think people are used to wet and windy weather. We get autumn storms and looking at the trees around me some have leaves and others are going fast. There’s no real panic.”
She added that although areas of Aswellthorpe Lower Wood, near Wymondham, had been affected by ash dieback, therefore weakening some parts of the trees, these were away from the edges. “They’re probably in the deepest part of the wood where people won’t wonder,” she said. “At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of the dead parts in the large trees. It’s difficult to know what’s going to happen to a tree - it’s all part of wildlife and nature and they could come down at any time.”
Roger Warr, chair of the Friends of Sadlers’ Wood, on the edge of North Walsham, said he believed the wood was well-placed to withstand the predicted storm. “All the properties in the area are well-spaced from the woodland and it’s going to be a westerly wind so most of it will fall in on itself,” he said. “It’s like the ‘87 storm where the ground was very wet and most of the trees were in full leaf so there’s a much greater wind resistance. Conifers in particular are vulnerable because they have a weaker root structure.
“Sandlers’ Wood forms a dense barrier so they all take an even share of the wind hitting them so I would say most of them will fare very well and those on the perimeter will be supported by those around them.
“The bulk of the wind sounds as if it will occur in the early hours of Monday morning and I can’t imagine there will be anyone around in the wood so I think all in all we’re fairly secure here.”
Margaret Hilton, treasurer of the Bradwell Community Woodland group, near Great Yarmouth, said trees planted by the group were too small to be affected by high winds.
“The danger could come from the council’s trees coming down around the area but there’s nothing you can do. Hopefully not too many houses will be damaged,” she said.