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Safety first at Whinlatter Forest after the stormy weather

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The Forestry Commission team at Whinlatter Forest have been working hard during and after the recent stormy weather in the area.

Several periods of high winds in December brought down a number of trees and branches in the forest. The ranger team on site were constantly monitoring the situation during the severe weather and carried out trail and tree inspections to ensure the forest was safe for the public to use following the storms.

One spectacular result of the storms that was discovered was the aftermath of a lightening strike on one tree in the forest. A scorch mark now runs the length of the tree, a dramatic reminder of the power of the weather.

Whinlatter Forest Centre manager, Adrian Jones, said

“The team at Whinlatter have worked hard to check all our trails and facilities for storm damage during December. Public safety in the forest is our priority at all times, and especially when the weather is severe enough to cause potential damage to trees.”

“We have a well-rehearsed plan in place to both monitor conditions during stormy weather and to check the site and all trails following a storm. If there is any damage, this can lead to short term closures of some of our trails and other facilities but I’m pleased to say that all trails in Whinlatter are currently open for visitors to enjoy a winter walk or bike ride.”

As part of routine annual tree safety checks, before the recent storms, a number of trees on Whinlatter Pass (B5292) had been identified as needing work carried out to them, including felling in some cases.

Further checks revealed that some of these trees have suffered damage during December’s storms and urgent work is required to make these safe. Unfortunately due to the narrow nature of the road it has been closed to ensure public safety during the works. The Visitor Centre and all facilities will remain open during the works, with a signed road diversion.

The closure started on 20 January and will last for up to 14 days including weekends although it is hoped that works can be completed by 1 February. Whinlatter’s website and Facebook pages will be kept up to date with progress so the best advice is to check before you visit.

Siskins Café at Whinlatter is closed for maintenance but will fully reopen from 25 January. Both Cyclewise and the Rheged @ Whinlatter shop are open everyday. The visitor information point is open weekends until 1 February when it will be open daily – for full details visit


Notes to Editor

1. The Forestry Commission in England works to secure and grow the economic, social and natural capital value of the Public Forest Estate for the people of England. The North England Forest District looks after forests in Cumbria, the Lancashire, Northumbria, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

2. Photos of lightening damaged tree attached. Please credit Paul Brown, Forestry Commission. High res images available on request.
3. Media Contact: Sarah Bruce, Marketing and Communications Manager, 07827 232832