Farming paying a big price for Storm Arwen damage

Farming didn’t escape the severe damage caused by the weekend’s storm – with the cost of damage to buildings and structures, both large and small, including roofs, walls, cladding and polytunnels around the country estimated as likely to run to many millions of pounds.

Martin Kennedy
Martin Kennedy

The large number – and in some cases entire stands - of trees brought down by the combination of strong winds and snow were reported to be adding to the severe disruption.

NFU Scotland yesterday said that early reports of damage caused by Storm Arwen coming in from producers around the country indicated that the damage to some businesses was substantial with many still waiting on Monday for roads to open and power and telecommunications to be restored.

Hide Ad

One union member had put the likely cost of the structural damage to his business in the region of approximately £70,000 – while another reported that all the trees in an acre of Sitka Spruce trees on his farm had been blown down.

“As members start to assess the total scale of the damage, it is already apparent that it will run into many millions,” said NFU Scotland President Martin Kennedy.

Hide Ad

“From personal experience, I know how extreme the storm was. There will have been hundreds of trees blown down on our own estate near Aberfeldy and Sunday was spent helping clear roads and driveways to allow people access to and from their homes and get services into the area to reconnect electricity and telephone services.

Speaking yesterday he said that reports were still being gathered from members up and down the country – but it was clear that the damage to many businesses had been extensive - and that farmers’ role in the clear up operation for local towns and villages had been hampered by heavy snow in places.

Hide Ad

“Much of the damage will have been insurable and we have already contacted our partners in NFU Mutual for an update on the storm’s impact,” said Kennedy.

“Our extensive network of group secretaries and Mutual agents across Scotland will be working hard with our members today, helping them assess and start the process of restarting and recovering from the impact of the storm.”

Hide Ad

He added that even on Monday some of the union’s offices in the North East remained without electricity - but he said that calls are being diverted.

“Many parts of the country remain without power, internet service and phones and these may not be up and running until nearer the end of this week,” warned Kennedy.

Hide Ad

But he also reminded the sector to take the time to check on nearby friends and neighbours to see if they need any assistance recovering from the dire effects of the storm, adding:

“Given the severe disruption, it is a good time to remind all that Scotland’s rural charity, RSABI, is there to help and the helpline number, which operates from 7am until 11pm, is on 0300 111 4166.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.