Beating the Storm: One Year On…

In November 2021, the UK was hit by Storm Arwen, which brought high winds and caused mass destruction to our beautiful countryside. Many of the magnificent trees that had stood tall for hundreds of years were felled by the devastating winds.

The impact of the storm on Milne Graden was significant, with 110 mature parkland trees and thousands of shelter belt trees lost and damaged, accounting for around 10% of the estate’s trees.

While it was devasting to see, the wood from the fallen trees was not wasted. Some were taken to sawmills for reuse, while others were used as fuel for the holiday cottage wood-burning stoves. Larger sections of timber will be used for construction, with plans to create bike racks and tabletops for the cottages this spring from a large noble of fir.

The trees and woodland are a key aspect of Milne Graden Landscape, and therefore careful consideration of how best to replant what had been lost was required. The Milne Graden team discovered landscaping plans from Admiral Milne that date back to circa 1830 and with the help of landscape consultant, Lance Goffort-Hall, these plans have been used as the base to bring the estate back to life.

Admiral Milne’s plans are based on Repton-style landscaping, which is a layer on top of Brown-style planting and includes avenues and features parkland trees with the addition of sweeping avenues of low-lying shrubs and plants.

Lance and the Milne Graden team have taken a considered approach to biodiversity, especially on Park End drive, and the replanting will take place in two stages. Phase one involves planting trees which give structure, while phase two consists of a layer of low-level shrubs which will give spring-summer flowers and autumn-winter berries, encouraging a varied wildlife habitat.

Lime and Beech were chosen as the main tree species due to being native to Scotland. The original landscape design and planting plans from Admiral Milne have been referred to and adapted for the re-planting project. It brings great pleasure that these historic documents have been incorporated, paying homage to the Victorian era when Milne Graden was created.

Following a survey of the trees, Lance calculated that the oldest trees on the estate are around 250 to 300 years old, pre-dating the Milne Graden House. Some of these magnificent trees remain, and it is worth exploring the estate during your stay to discover them.

One of the most notable trees is the giant redwood, otherwise known as Wellingtonia, located on the riverbank, and it is simply breathtaking. These trees were brought back by Admiral Milne from his overseas trips and are an unforgettable attribute of the estate.

The Milne Graden team are delighted that the trees planted in 2023 will bring joy to many future generations alongside some of these original heritage beauties which are unique to this family-run estate.