PICTURES: National Trust properties hunker down as Storm Doris hits the UK

High winds have forced more than fifty National Trust places to close today as Storm Doris battered the UK.

The storm, which has seen winds of up to 90mph gusting over the countryside, toppled several trees – including a 200 year old oak tree on the historic Vyne estate in Hampshire.

Fifty one National Trust places across England took the decision to close to the public. They include Arlington Court in Devon and Kedleston Hall, near Derby.

Although the storm is predicted to blow itself out by the end of the week, people planning to visit their local National Trust property are urged to check www.nationaltrust.org.uk for any updates on closures.

High winds brought down a 200 year old oak tree at The Vyne, Hampshire, this afternoon. The Tudor estate had taken the precautionary step of closing to visitors.

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A fallen oak tree at the Vyne, Hampshire. CREDIT: Karen Legg / National Trust

Rangers at Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury, estimate that winds reached speeds of 60mph this morning and bosses at the Shropshire estate are keeping a close eye on the weather in case they are forced to close the parkland later.

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Swirling leaves at Attingham Park, Shropshire. CREDIT: Fiona Holdsworth/National Trust

Fiona Holdsworth, Visitor Experience Officer at Attingham Park, snapped these swirling leaves earlier today.

“It is really blustery,” she said. “Our tree surgeons are on standby in case any trees come down.”

Elsewhere, ranger Jennifer James caught the stormy conditions at the Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim.

Water rushed over the stepping stones at Cray Gill, after the Yorkshire Dales were hit by heavy rain.

And the ranger team at Dyrham Park, near Bath, have discovered a novel way of measuring the wind speed – with Area Ranger Matt Baker’s long beard flapping in the 60 mph gusts.

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Area ranger Matt Baker at Dyrham Park, near Bath. CREDIT: Beth Watson/National Trust

The impact of Storm Doris on wildlife are expected to be limited, conservation experts from the charity said.

Matthew Oates, Nature Specialist at the National Trust, said: “Because of the relatively low rainfall, Storm Doris is unlikely to have a serious effect on wildlife and habitats.

“It’s main impact on wildlife, though, may be through bringing down rook nests at a time when nests are being built and eggs laid.

“And there may be a sting in its tail across East Anglia and Lincolnshire later today, depending on how much the storm deepens.”

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