The Storm

Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm

In January 2005, a storm caused huge devastation in the grounds at Stephen How, Adam's home. Extreme high winds followed days of heavy rain, and the particular wind which blew across the fell and valley twisted and turned, not just uprooting huge trees but tearing the tops off, or breaking them in half. It was like a tornado.

At least 100 trees were brought down in the grounds, 15 criss-crossed the drive alone. It took eight people with chain saws a day to just cut a way through to enable a car to negotiate its way down. The green house and hen house were lost and considerable damage caused to the hard landscaping and the dry stone walls. The process of restoration will take many years.

Photos taken at the time don't really convey the enormity of the damage done by the wind in a short time during the early hours of that Saturday morning. The power of nature is truly awe-inspiring and we were more than a little afraid as we lay awake listening to the roar of the wind, which was so loud that we did not hear any of the trees come down.

At dawn the electricity and telephone had gone and a completely different view met our gaze as we looked out from the hill across the valley. The shock was profound.

Adam gained a lot of knowledge and awareness about animals and the natural world through living in the countryside and interacting on a daily basis with all that it encompassed.

From an early age he was fascinated by growing plants from seed, keeping hens and rearing chicks, rescuing wildlife and observing the interdependence of all in the ecosystem. These opportunities to observe and to have 'hands on' experience enabled his love of nature to grow and this has inspired us to offer similar opportunities to other young people here at Stephen How in keeping with the spirit of the ACMT.

The storm of 2005 changed the grounds forever, but provided an opportunity for regeneration in ways not possible before. In September 2006 Windermere St, Anne's students started off the process with conservation and restoration work. Eventually we hope the gardens will become an outdoor classroom to be used by schools with children of all age groups. We hope that this will inspire other young people to endeavor to live in harmony with the world of nature and everything in it.