I am used to working outside in all weathers. Of course, sometimes baking in the cab of a tractor or one of the excavators we used for groundworks jobs, it can often be uncomfortable. That said – and I think most of the team at BTAC would agree with me – I would rather be out in sunny weather than stormy conditions. Unfortunately, we had more than our fair share of tricky weather events in the past month.
Because BTAC is based in the eastern side of England, serving the rural East Midlands and northern East Anglia in the main, we didn’t have it as bad as many parts of the country. That said, Storms Malik and Corrie both affected the eastern parts of England with strong gusts and heavy rainfall although, in fairness, these tended to cause most disruption further north. These happened in January, however, and were something of a precursor to what February had in store.
I suppose that it could have happened before but I certainly cannot recall a time when the British Isles faced such a quick succession of strong gales. In February, we had Storms Eunice, Dudley and Franklin all hit us within the space of just one week. For the people in the worst affected areas, it must have felt never-ending. Eunice was the first of the so-called ‘named storms’ to hit and then both Dudley and Franklin appeared, hampering efforts to restore power lines and deal with downed trees and boughs. Severe flooding caused havoc, too, because the storms coincided with Spring tides. Although these didn’t happen in quite as bad a way as had been feared, it was a close-run thing for many.
In the East of England, we were placed under the same amber warning that covered much of the South Coast, Mid and North Wales and even as far afield as Manchester. In places like North Norfolk and Lincolnshire, it would not take too much extra rainfall and a particularly high tide to cause significant disruption not just to farmers but to entire rural communities. Thankfully, we were spared the worst but rare red warnings were issued for the Southeast and these could easily have been extended into East Anglia and the East Midlands.
Storms Eunice, Dudley and Franklin all caused some problems but came early enough in the year to avoid the really troublesome outcomes like fallen trees. The most damage I’ve noticed occurred to evergreens but had deciduous trees been in full leaf, then it could easily have been much worse, especially with soft soil not affording much protection to the root base of larger species like horse chestnuts. According to the Forestry Commission, broadleaved species is the dominant tree type in the East Midlands making up 62.7 per cent of all woodland.
So, if you have mature trees and shrubs on your land, then you could face problems if further high winds come again later in the year. Few would bet against them. Remember, we can help with drainage and improve the condition of your hedgerows so that potential high winds don’t cause damage to property and even people. We are also experts with fencing so we can help to get yours in order such that it is ready for whatever the weather might throw at it. The time to act is before we have another storm, of course. Why not drop me a line so we can discuss your options?