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St Jude took Britain by storm in October 2013 and Kensington Gardens Manager Ray Brodie was on hand to aid the clean-up operation in the Royal Parks.

"The storm in October led to around fifty tree fatalities of the 130,000-plus trees we have across all eight parks.

"Having started my garden apprenticeship for the Royal Parks in 1981, I was around for the storm of 1987 where winds reached over 100mph. The impact was devastating, killing over 4,500 trees and forcing us to close all eight of our parks for many weeks. St Jude by comparison only closed our parks for one morning.

Two herons in a nest

"The removal of windblown trees in '87 was a painstaking task as trees had blown into other trees, fallen against buildings, onto vehicles and across roads. When clearing up, safety is always paramount and it's important that all involved are aware of the issues windblown trees can cause.

"Most of the tree trunks removed from the parks were sent to factories for pulp and paper which raised the question why we didn't use the timber for other purposes. Quite simply, there is not a saw mill in the country that will touch a tree trunk from London. This is because many of our trees are embedded with shrapnel from the London bombings in WW2.

"Lime trees lining The Jubilee Walk in Kensington Gardens were particularly devastated by the impact of the 1987 storm. On a visit to London, upon witnessing the devastation caused, The Mayor of Berlin donated 100 lime trees. These 3-4 metre trees were flown in from Germany by the Royal Air Force to the former RAF station - Lyneham.

"Wildlife in our parks can also be disturbed by the storms. Grey herons in The Regent's Park are now rebuilding their homes after recent high winds savaged their nests. A recent count showed that there are currently only 11 heron nests compared to 29 recorded last year."

Heron on the ground Two herons in a nest



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