Barbour supporting the road to recovery after Storm Arwen at Hadrian’s Wall

Storm Arwen damage at Crag Lough

Iconic British brand Barbour is helping Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort as well as a number of other National Trust Properties in the North East take their first steps on the road to recovery following the devasting impact of Storm Arwen in November 2021. An incredibly generous donation is going towards key work across the Tyne Valley properties of Hadrian’s Wall and Housesteads Fort and Allen Banks and Staward Gorge and Bellister as they look to repair following the storm.

Assessing the damage 

In November 2021, Storm Arwen crashed into the region with winds of up to 98mph causing substantial damage to woodlands across the group of properties in the Tyne Valley, particularly on Hadrian’s Wall, at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge and at Bellister. 

On Hadrian’s Wall, many mature trees were uprooted and blown over in the Victorian plantations, which form a significant part of the landscape character, and which are enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. In the pine dominated woodland above Crag Lough, the damage was so severe that the Hadrian’s Way National Trail had to be closed and diverted for over 4 months until the trees could be made safe, the walls repaired, and the path reopened. 

At Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, some of the larger broadleaf trees and conifers were also lost, particularly in areas known as Moralee and Kingswood, which are popular walking routes with visitors to these ancient woodlands. 

Access to all of these sites can be particularly challenging due to topographical or archaeological constraints, meaning a lot of the work has had to be done by hand where machines cannot get on site. The teams have worked tirelessly to make safe and reopen walking routes and the woodlands for the public to enjoy once more. It has been an emotional task for the team and the work is ongoing with damage still being assessed, cleared and plans made to regrow. 

Barbour’s helping hand 

The Barbour donation has given a huge helping hand and has already started to make a significant difference. It has started to pay for trees to be cleared or made safe across Hadrian’s Wall and Allen Banks and Staward Gorge. As well as work on the trees, the funding will also pay for access improvements for the work to take place. Once agreed with Historic England, it will also fund trees to replace those lost, particularly on Hadrian’s Wall, so that the plantations recognised in the landscape today, will still be there for future generations to enjoy. 

Storm damage clearance at Crag Lough
Storm damage clearance at Crag Lough
Storm damage clearance at Crag Lough

Tree work has already started in several areas on Hadrian’s Wall and is due to start at Allen Banks and Staward Gorge imminently. Tree planting will occur in the winter once scheduled monument consents are agreed.     

In addition to these properties, Barbour is also supporting significant projects at both Wallington and Cragside with very generous funding going towards woodland creation, drone assessments of the landscape and the carving of monuments to the Storm from trees felled.