Th­reave storm dam­age ap­peal

The Galloway News - - FRONT PAGE - Stu­art Gille­spie

A fundrais­ing cam­paign has been launched to help re­store a land­mark es­tate rav­aged by a storm.

Th­reave Gar­dens and Es­tate is more than £30,000 out of pocket af­ter Storm Ali wreaked havoc on the Na­tional Trust for Scot­land prop­erty, bring­ing down a num­ber of trees and dam­ag­ing im­por­tant spec­i­mens.

Now the team at the prop­erty just out­side Cas­tle Dou­glas are look­ing for do­na­tions to help off­set the cost.

Op­er­a­tions man­ager Dr Sam Gal­lacher said: “In to­tal, the dam­age to the gar­den was se­vere with the loss of key spec­i­men trees at var­i­ous stages of ma­tu­rity.

“Vol­un­teers, stu­dents and NTS staff made im­pres­sive and much ap­pre­ci­ated ef­forts to re-open as quickly as pos­si­ble, but, even a month later, tree and branch-fall clear­ance is yet to be com­pleted.

“The im­me­di­ate cost has been sub­stan­tial, with an es­ti­mated £12,000 loss of in­come from clo­sure of the gar­den dur­ing and af­ter the storm, thou­sands of pounds for spe­cial­ist tree sur­geons to com­plete es­sen­tial works but, most sig­nif­i­cant of all, a bill to re­place key spec­i­mens to­talling £16,000.”

Weeks of wet weather made some of the most im­pres­sive spec­i­mens at the gar­den par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble when the 100mph winds of Storm Ali hit in mid-Septem­ber.

One of the vic­tims was a cen­tury-old beech tree on the drive to the house which also left the wood­land gar­den more ex­posed. An oak also fell be­fore the much-loved “hand­ker­chief tree” was up­rooted.

Nearly 40 trees across the es­tate were blown over and that led to dam­age to shrubs and herba­ceous beds. Among them were some smaller trees which, Dr Gal­lacher said, were

up­rooted, snapped or dam­aged to such an ex­tent they need to be re­moved to make the gar­den safe for vis­i­tors.

He added: “Gar­dens are long-term in­vest­ments, trees take decades to ma­ture but this in­vest­ment can be lost in a few short hours.

“The Na­tional Trust for Scot­land is com­mit­ted to the restora­tion of Th­reave’s ar­bo­real sig­nif­i­cance. With pub­lic sup­port, Th­reave can raise the es­sen­tial funds to re­plant lost spec­i­men trees.

“Th­reave will find new op­por­tu­ni­ties, even in this dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, to source and plant new species of trees bet­ter able to cope with our chang­ing cli­mate which will add yet more in­ter­est to our vis­i­tors and mem­bers.”

Th­reave is home to the NTS School of Her­itage Gar­den­ing which has at­tracted stu­dents from around the world for nearly 60 years.

Do­na­tions can be made on­line at cam­paigns/th­reave-gar­den­storm

Che­ques, made out to Na­tional Trust for Scot­land, can be sent to Th­reave Gar­den and Es­tate, Cas­tle Dou­glas, DG7 1RX.

Costs Dr Sam Gal­lacher

Power of na­ture Brian McMil­lan be­side one felled tree

Land­mark Th­reave House at Cas­tle Dou­glas

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