HELP US KO ALI SAY NTS
Threave storm damage appeal
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 www.nts.org.uk/ 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