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Storms damage Uk Greenhouses and Poly Tunnels

 Three Winter Storms Hit Uk in a Week

Thousands of panes of greenhouse glass have been broken across Europe, including in the UK.

Loyer tunnels


NFU Mutual said it has received 7,500 claims, with the highest volume of claims reported from the South West and South East of England. An online form set-up for those with non-urgent damage saw a submission every 30 seconds at its peak.

Claims head Paul Branch said: “We have already received thousands of claims for damage relating to Storm Eunice, with our busiest period seeing new claims coming in every thirty seconds during peak times. Early indications suggest that Eunice has the potential to be larger than Storm Arwen, which caused widespread damage to farms and the countryside across the North East of England and Scotland and resulted in 7,500 claims to NFU Mutual." The insurer activated emergency response last week, has been helping with alternative accommodation or emergency payments for vital purchases and is settling simpler claims on the spot, with loss adjusters reviewing damage to help repairs begin without long delays.

There has been 1,100 agricultural claims received by Dutch greenhouse insurance company Interpolis, including 375 from the greenhouse horticulture sector. Replacement glass may become in short supply Europe-wide.

East Sussex auricula nursery WS Lockyer lost the end of one greenhouse and two tunnels blew away.

And at Allwoods in West Sussex, greenhouse damage is delaying plant orders. An office and part of the main mail order and stock greenhouse were damaged (see picture below).

allwoods eunice

For some growers, trading issues brought up by the storms have been as serious as the damage caused.

Majestic Trees' Steve McCurdy said the Hertfordshire nursery spent two days preparing for the storms and worked throughout to protect trees. Replacing canes on pleached trees and other work will take a week to fix everything, which is "not what we needed at this time of year - but it could have been worse".

Kernock Park on the Devon/Cornwall border suffered from a power outage, but lost just a few panes of glass. MD Bruce Harnett said late on Friday, Storm Eunice hit quite hard and cut power for two days, meaning generators had to be used, and automatic temperature settings had to be adjusted by hand. Phone lines and internet are down and landlines are being rerouted to mobiles. "It's a challenge in some of our busiest weeks."
At Chapel Cottage Plants in Cambridgeshire, there was minor damage to one tunnel during the storms, but the stormy weekend slowed business, with garden centres reporting some damage to plantareas and slow trade over the weekend, but expecting fence, pots and glass sales to be strong as gardeners seek to repair damage.

Reports suggest many other growers got off relatively lightly. Bransford lost a tunnel cover and a few panes of glass. Pineview in Kent lost a tunnel cover. Hardy's in Hampshire was dealing with trees down. Millais in Hampshire had just one tree down.

Lovania in Lancashire has had a "really strong" January and February from a sales perspective and the storm was "not too bad damage wise, a few broken panes of glass but nothing serious".

Customs facilities were closed and there were increased processing times for commercial vehicles on the third country border into the European Union at the weekend.

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