Some of you will have seen the recent forest fires in Berkshire on the news. At the height of the fires over 300 firefighters were tackling the blaze and several major roads were closed for over a week causing major traffic chaos. This was a only very short lived nuisance compared to the devastation of 4 sq km of Swinley Forest which will take many years to recover.
The Forestry Comission have been very busy making the roads and woodland pathways safe by felling the worst affected trees. What with that and the road closures it’s only now that we’re able to see the damage for ourselves. Here are some photos I took yesterday….
This is the road into Crowthorne where I live, it used to be a very pleasant tree lined road. Here we are just leaving the burnt area….
now some parts just outside Crowthorne look like this with many damaged trees felled….
fortunately the fire was contained and didn’t cross the road so nearly all the trees on the other side were saved.
The other more badly affected road was the Crowthorne by-pass with the fire on both sides
This road was built about 15 years ago and cuts through the forest, it was just getting nicely mature and wooded again. This is a view of the section unaffected by the fire
I walked a short way into the forest along one of the wide paths
A strong smell of burnt wood still prevails even though much clearance work has been done. A lot of trees with burnt trunks but still with green foliage have been left, presumably they are expected to survive.
These pics don’t really show the scale of the damage as I wasn’t able to find anywhere with a clear view without venturing further. I didn’t want to do this as I was alone and found it a bit shocking and rather unpleasant.
Such a loss to our local pleasant surroundings but devastating for all those creatures to whom the forest was ‘home’. :o((
- 17 May, 2011
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