Tree experts get together to rebuild UUֱ's devastated countryside following Storm Ciarán

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37117006)

TREE experts have grouped together to rebuild UUֱ’s natural environment following Storm Ciarán’s devastation.

Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf said that while no formal body had yet been assembled, he had asked officers in the Natural Environment Department to co-ordinate work with “all the relevant parties”.

These include UUֱ Trees for Life, the National Trust for UUֱ, local farming organisation presidents and those involved with the branchage.

Members of the government’s Natural Environment team recently met the relevant charities and organisations to discuss assistance and replanting.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (37117012)

One month on from Storm Ciarán’s violent landfall, tree surgeons continue to attend to “dangerous” fallen trees and are working “flat out”.

It comes as a recovery programme in Guernsey has got under way, after its government put £15,000 towards restoring public woodland and green spaces where around 350 trees fell in the storm.

In the wake of the funding news in Guernsey, UUֱ’s environmentalists previously called on ministers to set up a “tree council” – similar to the one which led the restoration project following the 1987 storm.

Deputy Renouf also confirmed that the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice-Admiral Jerry Kyd, was in discussion with the Crown regarding funds to recover the Island’s damaged canopy of trees.

The minister said: “The Crown has taken a particular interest in this too. I know the Lieutenant-Governor is very keen that the Crown should be involved in work to recover from this. The King is obviously very keen on trees and the natural environment in general, so that message has been communicated.”

He added that the community needed to be engaged in recovery work and that he would respond to feedback, saying: “If it is felt that a specific organisation, or campaign, or budget, is needed for that work, then that’s what I would examine.

“But I haven’t assumed we need to create a new body. That has to come from below.”

Nathan Shambrook, company manager of tree-surgeons V H Pallot and Sons, said that the firm, and others, would be dealing with trees felled by Storm Ciarán until “well into next year” – and waiting times “could easily be months”.

He continued: “The priority work is still dangerous fallen trees. We certainly haven’t got back to normal yet, so we won’t get to tree pruning or hedge cutting until well into the new year.”

The Bendy Tree on the Five Mile road Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (37117009)

Matt Pallot, a tree surgeon with the company, said: “We’re still flat out with storm work. We have done all the priority work now in terms of trees that have fallen on houses, sheds, roads, driveways, but we haven’t yet reached people’s gardens or other non-essential jobs.”

He added that the tree surgeons had not attended to anything other than storm recovery since 2 November, but that they were due to “slowly get back” into normal jobs for regular clients over the coming weeks.

Deputy Renouf previously said it was too early to know the number of trees lost in UUֱ – which suffered far greater damage than the other islands – but it is expected to eclipse that of the Great Storm, when an estimated 20,000 were brought down.

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