Route into Purbeck remains closed as work to clear 10 trees starts

The main road into Wareham and through to Swanage is expected to remain blocked all day, as contractors start the huge task of removing 10 pine trees blown across the road by strong winds.

Dorset Police received the first emergency call to the incident along the A351 Sandford Road at 8.15 am on Sunday 31st October 2021.


The road remains impassable between the junctions with Morden Road and Organford Road.

Fallen trees at Sandford road
Karen Dillon
Trees down in Sandford Road
Martin Arnold

Fallen trees make Sandford Road completely unpassable

No one was injured

Fortunately no one was injured but the large Corsican pine trees have damaged telephone wires and lamp posts.

Dorset Council as the highways authority has now brought in tree surgeons to clear the road.

Tree debris on Sandford Road
Dorset Council
Trees down in Sandford Road
Martin Arnold

As the trees fell on Sandford Road, they also crushed lamp posts

“It’s not a small task”

A spokesperson from Dorset Council said:

“Work has started to cut up the trees into smaller sections and we’ll be moving them to the side as soon as we possibly can to get the road open again.

“It’s not a small task – we roughly estimate that it takes two workers with chainsaws about four to five hours to chop up each tree of this size.

“On Sunday, we didn’t declare an emergency but across Dorset, it was extremely busy for all the emergency services and Dorset Council, due to the strong winds and flooding.

“The Local Resilience Forum, that meets when events like this happen, coordinated the response to manage the demands.

“First and foremost we respond where there is a risk to life and then a risk to properties and then to clear highways. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause to your journey.”

Trees down in Sandford Road
Martin Arnold

Some trees on Sandford Road have been severely damaged by the gusts

Take alternative routes

Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible and take alternative routes. Delays have been reported on roads through Wareham Forest.

The number 40 bus has been diverted and the journey is consequently taking longer than usual.

Cut off by flooding

Flooding was a problem across Dorset, with the town of Stalbridge in the north of the county completely cut off by flooding on Sunday 31st October 2021.

The spokesperson added:

“We still have a lot of clearing up to do after yesterday’s weather. There is still a lot of standing water around – try to avoid driving through flood water – as it could be deeper than you think.”

Tree damaged at Sandpit Field
dardanelles photography

A large branch falls from a tree on Sandpit Field

Tree across Ulwell Road
Yoel Adamez

Tree across Ulwell Road in Swanage

Trees down in Swanage

In Swanage, there were a number of fallen trees and branches, blown down by the wind, early on Sunday 31st October 2021.

A large branch fell from a pine tree on Sandpit Field and was photographed by Steve Clarke of Dardanelles Photography.

Along Ulwell Road on the road out of Swanage towards Studland, a pine tree straddled the road and was captured on dashcam by local resident Yoel Adamez, as he drove to work.

Watch videos of tree falling across Ulwell Road and then cars driving underneath the tree

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