Giving these two deep low-pressure systems friendly names has done little to disguise their destructive power. With wind gusts reaching 90 miles per hour in some parts of the UK, the Met Office is warning of significant disruption and a danger to life.
We all hope that loved ones will remain safe, but asset owners and insurance companies will brace themselves for the impact. It’s a welcome relief to many woodland owners, operators, and regulators across the UK that Civil Air Support (CAS) are standing by to offer emergency storm damage support.
Reports are already coming into the CAS operations room of the extensive damage to forestry and woodland across the UK caused by several winter storms. Operations Managers have been advised of the extensive pressure this has placed on a wide range of forestry related stakeholders but especially small woodland owners, charities, community groups and regulatory bodies.
As a result, CAS has initiated its national response protocol and is now formally offering its aircraft and voluntary crews to fly in support of woodland/forestry damage reporting and recovery efforts.
David W Brown, Civil Air Support’s Deputy Operations Director said:
“As Europe’s largest charitable air support organisation, CAS is ideally placed to assist in this situation. We have aircraft located throughout the UK and can undertake survey and photographic activities across extensive areas that are well beyond the capabilities of most UAV’s. Our imagery can support a rapid and detailed assessment of damage, informing both remedial and longer-term actions. It is also able to reduce the workload and costs of owners and regulators alike, often covering multiple woodlands and large geographic areas in a single flight.
Our pictures are from a recent flight recording storm damage to a community-owned woodland in Scotland. This gave the charity who manages the area everything they needed to understand the extent of damage incurred and put forward their proposed remedial/recovery actions to Scottish Forestry with a clear overview of the challenge.”
It’s important to underline that CAS is a charity. All its members are volunteers, and all flights are private. As a result of this, and crews providing their time, skills, and aircraft completely free of charge, CAS can offer these services in support of local communities at no cost to the organisations involved.
If you have an interest in woodland or forestry, have been affected by recent storm damage and believe that CAS may be able to help, please contact the charity now.