Remembering the Great Storm at Leith Hill

This exhibition was held in 2017 It's 30 years since the Great Storm wreaked havoc over South East England in October 1987. We're hosting an exhibition at Leith Hill Place from Friday, 6 October until Sunday, 29 October 2017 showcasing some rarely seen photographs and personal accounts of that infamous night.

The 30th anniversary of the Great Storm will be marked this October by the National Trust at Leith Hill with a photographic exhibition showing the damage caused at this famous Surrey landmark. Leith Hill, one of the highest points of Surrey was devastated by the hurricane-force winds which resulted in the loss of hundreds of trees, many of which were veteran specimens.

As violent as the storm was, no serious damage was sustained to people or buildings at Leith Hill and the effects of the deforestation presented the rangers caring for the hill with some unique opportunities. 

" It must have been an awesome sight at daybreak – seeing so many trees uprooted like matchsticks. The change to the landscape was monumental  but over time nature has restored the damage. In areas of Leith Hill such as the Rhododendron Wood, new trees and shrubs were planted to replace the fallen ones. In other areas, we simply left the upturned trees and allowed nature to take control again”."
- Modern-day Ranger, Sophie Parker

Sophie and her colleagues are collating accounts and photographs of the Great Storm from locals and would be delighted to hear from readers who are willing to share their photographs and memorabilia for use in the exhibition.

" This exhibition is really about celebrating the power of nature and how, because of the magnitude and uniqueness of the event, people pulled together. Many people recorded the event in photographs. We hope to recapture some of that spirit in the exhibition."
- Sophie Parker, Leith Hill Ranger

Leith Hill comprises some of the most beautiful Surrey countryside - farmland, woodland and heathland, bursting with colour and birdsong throughout the year. Associated with Charles Darwin, the great naturalist, and the artistic and creative Wedgwood family, there are surprising histories at every turn. The top of Leith Hill Tower is proudly known as the highest point in the south east of England with spectacular views north to the high-rise buildings of London and the sparkling sea through Shoreham Gap to the south.

The Great Storm; 30 Years On will be open to visitors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 October until 29 October at Leith Hill Place from 11am until 5pm. If you have photographs and/or memorabilia that you would like to loan to the National Trust for this exhibition, please email surreyhills@nationaltrust.org.uk