Out There column: Trees torn apart by storms and high winds

Tree damaged by high winds at the Pointer Roundabout in Lancaster.
Tree damaged by high winds at the Pointer Roundabout in Lancaster.

The weather has been so wild recently that it has been almost impossible to fit in a spot of gardening.

Saturated ground is terrible to work on and high winds have wreaked havoc across our area. Last week, following a particularly savage storm, I walked from Bowerham into the centre of Lancaster.

Numerous trees had been blown down or were torn apart by the winds.

I took a photograph of snapped specimen at the Pointer Roundabout on my way into the city centre and just half an hour later, on my way back to my friend’s house, the tree was gone.

Quick work by the authorities, or perhaps it was someone who fancied a bit of free firewood. Anyway, it was almost as if the tree had never existed there.

I’m always saddened when old trees have to be felled.

The sight of trees felled along the route of the new M6 link road fills me with horror. However, I understand that such things are necessary during road building projects.

The entrance to Barley Cop Lane at Torrisholme was once a tree-lined delight and I won’t even start on the areas closer to the M6 bridge near Halton.

Still, I’ve heard there is to be a replanting scheme once the road is built.

Back home at our garden in Caton the weather has also done its worst. Neighbours have had entire limbs of trees wrenched off by the violent winds and the grass is like an enormous sponge.

Three bushes in our garden were literally ripped from the earth so I’ve used chunky stakes to secure them back into place.

We had some respite from the weather on Sunday - a rare sunny day - so Mark and I headed to Grange over Sands for a walk.

I’d heard that a team of gardeners had been working wonders at the old resort’s Railway Gardens, ornamental pond and historic promenade.

The community-minded volunteers regularly give up their time to tend the gardens.

On our visit, the flower beds were expertly manicured, the trees were lovingly pruned and silt had been dredged from the marvellous ornamental pond, leaving it clear and sparkling.

I was interested to learn that the Railway Gardens and nearby train station were designed by the renowned architect Edward Graham Paley, who also designed Lancaster Cathedral.

The gardens date back to the 1870s and were laid out by the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway company. It’s one of the earliest and most complete railway gardens in Britain.