From dead woods to triumph of nature, 30 years after the Great Storm

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The devastating winds of 1987 felled 15 million trees but also prompted a radical change to the way we work with the countryside to let it heal itself

It is remembered as a generation-defining moment, the night when ships ran aground, London endured its first blackout since the Blitz, 18 people died and 15 million trees were toppled. But the devastation wrought by the Great Storm of 1987 also left in its wake a startling woodland recovery, prompting a radical reshaping of the way we work with nature to care for the countryside.

Thirty years ago on Monday the storm hit south-east England after a fierce wind swooped up from the Bay of Biscay, across a corner of northern France before making landfall in the south-west and sweeping through southern England to bring the full force of its 100mph winds to bear on the south-east.

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