Farmers and rural businesses are being urged to act now to prepare for storms this winter, one year on from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen.
More than a million homes lost power and thousands of trees were uprooted during the storm last November, which brought severe winds of almost 100 mph.
Tragically, the winter storm - the most powerful and damaging storm of the last decade - caused the death of three people after they were hit by falling trees.
Winds of over 70mph were felt throughout the northern UK and gusts of almost 100mph were recorded in Northumberland.
Farmers were left counting the cost of Storm Arwen, which struck on 26 November 2021, with one business estimating £70,000 worth of structural damage.
Another farming business affected by the storm saw an acre of Sitka Spruce trees on his farm destroyed.
One year on, H&H Insurance Brokers has called on farmers and landowners to "stay safe, be alert and get prepared".
The two-day storm was the busiest day in the history of H&H Insurance Brokers, which specialises in agricultural and rural insurance.
Arwen led to a total of 130 related claims, with a combined value of more than £1 million. This compares to the firm’s usual daily average of four or five new claims.
Stuart Torrance, from H&H said: “Ultimately, when a storm hits, the most important thing is to stay safe but you can take precautions ahead of time to reduce the potential damage to your home or business.
“This can include keeping on top of maintenance such as securing any loose panels or gates, making sure roofs are in good condition, and removing loose or overhanging branches on your property.
"If there’s a storm on its way, then make sure you’ve secured anything which could potentially be blown away, and park vehicles in a safe space, either in a garage or building, and away from fences, trees and walls which could fall on them.”
Simon Gray, who farms at Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, suffered extensive damage to his mixed arable and sheep farm as a result of Storm Arwen.
This included the loss of nearly £50,000 worth of machinery and equipment after a shed collapsed and crushed them.
"A roof on a shed containing fertiliser was also ripped off, along with other damage to the property such as fallen trees," Mr Gray said.
“It’s difficult to quantify the damage caused by Storm Arwen because we are still finding things to fix as a result of it a year later."
Stuart Torrance advised anyone who is affected by storm damage to contact their insurance broker as soon as possible.
He said: “Once it’s safe to do so, gather together essential information including taking photographs of the damage and making a note of the extent of it.
"If you have more than one property, then record which premises are affected and where."