In the aftermath of the devastating Storm Arwen, Air Images was commissioned to fly over vast areas of forestry. The mission was to locate, photograph, and record locations of destroyed forest areas, a task that could only be accomplished from the air. Since January this year, we have flown over extensive regions, and our survey images have proven invaluable for planning the retrieval of this precious wood.
Storm Arwen, with its extreme winds and heavy snow, caused large scale damage and several fatalities. It has been particularly damaging to many of Scotland’s forests, causing more damage than any other weather event in recent years. The storm resulted in the loss of millions of trees across Great Britain, significantly higher than initial estimates. The damage was predominantly in commercially important woodlands, affecting the forestry industry significantly.
The aftermath of the storm has been challenging, with fallen trees hung up on other standing trees posing significant risks to people. The high winds brought by Arwen, with the highest recorded gust being 110mph, resulted in many trees being blown over and many branches torn off. The storm also caused significant damage to buildings and other infrastructure.
The recovery process has been slow and arduous. The forestry sector in the south of Scotland and north of England have been working together to tackle the aftermath of Storm Arwen. The clean-up after the storm, including the work needed to remove the windblown timber, make safe the remaining trees, and get the timber to wood processors, will take time and effort.
We thought we'd share a few images to illustrate the scale of the damage from a bird's eye view. These images serve as a stark reminder of the power of nature and the impact it can have on our environment.