THE National Trust woodlands survived the high winds from the tropical storm Ophelia with only very minor damage of some hanging branches requiring the forestry teams to deal with.

As a forester you dread the potential that these winds can do to your woodlands. Decades of work can be destroyed overnight, literally. However as this is a natural event, nature always has a way of recovering if the winds did cause major damage by blowing over loads of trees.

The photograph above, taken in Hill Fell wood near Tarn Hows, shows a 'phoenix' tree.

There is a spruce tree which was blown over many years ago. As the root plate was still attached to the ground and the main roots not broken, the tree has continued to grow. From the one tree there now grows five but all off the same root system. What were just side branches have now become fully grown trees.

Th photograph shows that nature always finds a way to deal with whatever is thrown at it by the winds!

Martin Thwaites

Head Forester for the National Trust in the Lake District