Strong winds forecast - landowners warned to check trees

PUBLISHED: 15:35 13 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:58 13 January 2015

A fallen tree blocks the road at North Elmham after a gale last year. Picture: Matthew Usher.

A fallen tree blocks the road at North Elmham after a gale last year. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

According to the Met Office, we can expect gale force gusts tomorrrow and Thursday.

Farmers and landowners are being advised to check the condition of trees by the roadside and in public places.

A yellow warning for winds of up to 65mph has been issued by the Met Office from Wednesday afternoon until the end of Thursday.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural business across the region, is warning members they could face a claim for damages if a tree or a large branch falls in a public place.

CLA regional surveyor Tim Woodward said: “Liability for damage or injury caused by fallen trees and branches depends on whether the owner knew, or should have known, that the tree was likely to fall.

Icy pavements fear

Charity Living Streets is warning of the dangers of icy pavements and the risk of heavy snow fall leaving vulnerable people stranded in their homes.

Older people or those with mobility problems are particularly at risk, said its chief executive Joe Irvin.

“We recently commissioned a YouGov poll and 57 per cent of adults aged 65 and over told us that icy pavements are one of the main factors which discourages them from getting out and about,” he said. “We hear a lot about the importance of gritting and making roads safe for drivers, but pavements and people who travel on foot are often overlooked. This winter we are asking members of the public to think about those who are more vulnerable.”

Living Streets is urging people to sign up to become a ‘Snow Angel’ and think about clearing the paths of their less able neighbours. Click here for more.

“We are advising our members to inspect their roadside trees as soon as possible and keep a written record of the inspections to demonstrate due care and diligence in the unfortunate event of an accident.

“Being able to prove that proper care has been taken would also reduce the risk of facing Council charges for clearing fallen timber from the public highway.”

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