November 26th 2021 was a black day for those of us living in north Northumberland. With little warning, we were hit by the ferocious Storm Arwen, with wind speeds exceeding 100mph by early evening. The electricity went off about 8.00pm and all that could be heard was the howl of the wind, the roar of the rain and the screams of the trees.
When dawn broke, the results of the night revealed themselves: woods and forests flattened, ancient feature trees blown down, walls and buildings destroyed – heart breaking scenes across the landscape.
Chillingham was particularly badly affected. The picture above shows the root plates of the two massive Grand Firs that stood by the Visitor Centre. It also shows the Visitor Centre, crushed by a large Douglas Fir. Fortunately, the Park itself was not too badly damaged but some of the surround woodland has taken a beating.
The Cattle were unperturbed.
It took several days to cut an access way into the Park. it will take a lot longer to make the area safe for visitors and a great deal longer to clear all the damage. We do hope to open in April but this will depend on the progress of the safety work. We will keep you informed on this website.