Praise for National Trust recovery plan at Bodnant Gardens

December 22, 2021 - 312 views

A local assembly member has commented on her admiration for the many people who come together to support a historic local attraction after the ferrocious weather experienced a number of weeks back.

The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – visited Bodnant Garden to review, first-hand, the extensive damage caused by Storm Arwen and to commend the National Trust’s positive plans for recovery.  

Created over 150 years, with plants collected and brought to Britain from far afield, Bodnant is a haven of rarity and beauty set against the stunning backdrop of the Carneddau mountains of Snowdonia.

However, Storm Arwen saw winds rip through the Dell and Furnace causing extensive damage and felling more than 50 trees. 

Mrs Finch-Saunders met with a range of stakeholders at the world-famous Garden, including John Walker (National Trust General Manager for Bodnant) Paul Southall (Consultancy Manager Wales), and Frances Llewellyn (Senior Marketing & Communications Officer for Bodnant).  

Commenting after the visit, Janet said: “This relentless weather event was another stark reminder of the power of mother nature, with the occurrence of these extremely high wind speeds set to increase as a result of global climate change.  

“It was most sad to have seen that Storm Arwen has damaged many veteran pines, magnolias and rhododendrons for which the garden is famous. Unfortunately, this also includes a number of champion trees including the 140- year-old Coast Redwood near the Old Mill. 

“Whilst I believe that the Trust is hoping to mill some of those trees that have been felled, ensuring that no resource goes to waste, I should like to commend the work of the staff who are clearing the debris and will soon turn their attention to replanting and renewing acres of this historic landscape. 

“Whilst the landscape has undoubtedly been changed due to this Storm, crucially, this positive plan of action will ensure that this resource is safeguarded for future generations. Supported by a team of trained gardeners and volunteers, I have great faith that this work will see the garden bounce back stronger.

“With the site remaining open to visitors throughout this season of goodwill, albeit with certain sections cordoned off for safety, I encourage residents to support this significant and important conservation work where possible.” 

The clear-up at Bodnant alone is expected to take several months. The Trust is asking supporters to donate what they can to its Woodlands fundraising appeal to help with restoration now and in the future: