The message I received on Thursday to tell me that the 40 foot plus conifers had suffered badly in the storm on Wednesday evening threw me into a panic.
After a lot of phone calls I eventually got through to the neighbour who advised me they had been uprooted but had miraculously missed the shed, the greenhouse and the house.
Relieved at the news that all of structures had been spared, we shot of after leaving work on Thursday evening very apprehensive as to what would greet us.
We arrived just past midnight, the night was still very stormy the rain was pouring down and the wind was whipping around ferociously.
We could instantly see the damage caused and stood in the driveway surveying the scene by car headlights, we were quite speechless at the sight and it just wasn’t sinking in.
We had originally been given the impression that all 3 trees had been uprooted, but after closer inspection we realised that the middle tree was still upright and I feared that any further rain and wind would topple it.
We went into the house but kept going back outside to look at it by torch light in total disbelief and we eventually through exhaustion dragged ourselves to bed at 3:30am.
We woke on Friday morning to another very stormy day, the weather was too bad for us to do anything so we had no choice but to stare at it all and hope that no more damage would be done.
It was a scene of devastation, one of the trees was leaning across the land and balancing on one of the other trees, another one was balancing on the hedgerow across the lane that leads to the farmers house, and in addition to this it had created an 8 foot tall grass cave with a pond underneath and the path had been ripped up and sunk into the ground like an earthquake had hit.
We simply had no idea how we were going to cope with trying to sort the problem so it was a huge relief when during the day the farmer and our other neighbour visited us to say that they would help us, we were so grateful for their offers and thanked them endlessly.
We spent the rest of the day moping around the house wondering if the weather would allow us all to tackle the problem on Saturday, so it was a huge relief to wake to a very sunny and very calm day.
We set off into the garden at first light with the chainsaw in hand and realised that the task was enormous, we had only been in the garden for a few minutes when the troops arrived ‘International Rescue’ style with chainsaws and heavy machinery to hand.
On chainsaws was the OH and Mike the electrician, on the heavy machinery was Robert the farmer.
Soon after we started Louise the electricians wife arrived with the two children Mathew and Sophie, who provided tea and refreshments and helped me to clear the endless stream of branches cut from the main trunks to another area in the garden so that they could continue cutting.
They were all absolute stars working with us until dusk ensuring that the main problems were tackled, we still have an awful lot of work to do to finish off and make the area half decent, and we expect this to take us a very, very, long time.
We are devastated that the garden is so badly affected, the drive is now a muddy bog and what was a very secluded and sheltered area now looks like it has been hit by a bombs.
The poor wildlife has lost a huge nesting and roosting site, along with all of the other numerous bugs and the like that utilised the trees, but we are so lucky in comparison to many other people that we have to thank our lucky stars.
We now have logs everywhere and we still have an awful lot of wood to cut and remove from the site…….2 sheds full, greenhouse full, carport partially full, I simply don’t know what to do with the stuff, and there is also a pile of branches approx. 15 foot wide in all directions and 5 foot high.
I cannot thank our local helpers enough, I am truly proud to be amongst such a small local community that rallied together to help us in need and words cannot convey how thankful we are for their help.
I will be putting together a couple of hampers to show our gratitude but it simply doesn’t seem enough and I will always be eternally grateful for their help.
I will uploaded a few pictures of the initial devastation, the work in progress, and our local ‘International Rescue’ hero’s.
I hope you all are safe and well, and that the storms have not impacted you too much.