Coastal: More than 300 open spaces hit by storm winds

Police attend the scene of a fallen tree on a power cable in Strickland Manor Road, Yoxford , which

Police attend the scene of a fallen tree on a power cable in Strickland Manor Road, Yoxford , which happened during the St Jude storm. - Credit: Archant

Clearing up the aftermath of the St Jude storm in east Suffolk is likely to take most of the winter.

Hundreds of trees were damaged across the area and while experts are well on top of the most urgent work to fell specimens or remove dangerous branches, there is still much to do.

Fifteen of Suffolk Coastal’s countryside sites were serious affected and more than 300 of the district council’s open spaces were hit by storm damage.

Andrew Nunn, cabinet member with responsibility for the green environment, said: “Few people will be aware of the sheer scale of the challenge that faced us or the fact that our staff are still working to clear up after St Jude.”

The worse affected site was Sutton Heath, where around 100 trees needed attention, ranging from pines and oaks more than 100 years old that were felled and a range of other aged trees that were either felled or had branches affected.

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Mr Nunn said: “We have had to bring in arboricultural contractors equipped to carry out specialist tree work.

“This has allowed us to already deal with all those trees that the Suffolk Coastal tree surveyor declared as urgent and dangerous, working with Suffolk Coastal Services, Waveney Norse and our other contractors.

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“Meanwhile, the countryside rangers, along with their volunteers, have begun to clear up felled trees at Sutton Heath.

“There are still some larger trees and a few hung up branches to be dealt with, but all sites are open to the public.

“The rest of the clear up, especially at Sutton Heath, will take most of the winter, interspersed with other planned work. Suffolk Wildlife Trust are also assisting us to remove the larger trunks from the heathland areas and replace some of the uprooted stumps, for safety reasons.

“The final cost of the work is not know, however it is likely to amount to several thousand pounds.

“It is hoped there will be some income from the value of the timber from the larger pine trees felled at Sutton Heath.

“The trees and their debris that were obstructing accessibility to the open spaces have been totally cleared away, but cutting up and removing all the timber is neither cost nor time effective. Therefore some timber will be left to rot for its value as a habitat to insects and birds alike.”

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