Counting the cost of summer storms
Winter in Scotland, bringing high levels of snow, ice, wind and rain, has long had a destructive effect on our natural and built environments. Increasingly however, it is the impact of freak summer weather – a consequence of climate change – which is causing concern.
A mature Norway maple (Acer platanoides), located in the east of the Garden, was a casualty of recent high winds when the force of the gusts tore a large bough from the tree trunk. Landing on our boundary wall, the broken limb luckily did not destroy the stonework of the wall, but did cause damage to a neighbouring tree and a Botanics’ bench.
This damage is symptomatic of the effects of the summer gales witnessed by the Garden. Growing in frequency and severity, the gusts affect not only our living collection, but also the infrastructure of our A-listed Research Glasshouses which contain our priceless collection of conservation plants, many of which are endangered or extinct in the wild. The impact of Saturday’s weather highlights the need for the complete refurbishment of our Glasshouses planned as part of our Edinburgh Biomes restoration project.
While there was damage to property and plants, visitors to the Garden were not at risk. Our horticulture team carefully monitors wind speeds each day and, as wind speeds started to rise above our designed safe levels on Saturday morning, a decision was taken to close the Garden and ensure the safety of visitors, volunteers and staff.
Our expert arboriculture team has now removed broken limbs and are in the process of clearing debris from the affected area.
By supporting our Storm Damage Recovery Fund, you can help us to respond quickly and effectively to incidents of extreme weather at our Gardens. Please consider donating today.Donate to our Storm Damage Recovery Fund
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