HIGHWAYS teams were called out to more than 20 trees blown down across Craven roads during last year's powerful Storm Arwen - at a cost so far of more than £22,000.

North Yorkshire County Council said its teams responded to 25 incidents of fallen trees in the district over the last weekend in November as the storm, which unusually involved northerly winds, swept through the country.

The council said some incidents involved more than one tree and while it believes it has dealt with all fallen trees, around 200 across the whole county, there may be some left that have not been reported.

In addition, there are still some that need the input of a tree surgeon before they can be removed.

James Malcolm, Highways Area Manager, North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Over the weekend of Storm Arwen, November 26 to November 28, highways officers were called to 25 incidents of trees felled by the storm across Craven. Some incidents involved more than one tree. Across the whole of North Yorkshire, there were almost 200 reports of trees or branches felled.

“Part of the reason for the high number of fallen trees is that they were more susceptible to the unusual northerly winds than to the westerlies that we more usually experience.

“NY Highways teams, specialist sub-contractors and also our farming contractors removed the obstructions from the roads."

Mr Malcolm added: “In Craven, we spent more than £22,000 dealing with damage caused by the storm. Most incidents were dealt with in hours or days, but some follow-up work is still required. Some of this work requires a tree surgeon and specific equipment, so can take a little longer to arrange.

“We would organise repairs to walls only if they are the county council’s responsibility; most will be in the ownership of adjacent landowners."

He added: “While most fallen trees will have been identified through our reporting systems, there may be one or two that haven’t and will still need removing.

" As part of their safety inspections, highways officers identify any obstructions on highways. This includes trees on verges. Such issues are dealt with either by contacting the landowner to request removal or instructing NY Highways to remove the obstruction.”

Yorkshire Water has been forced to close a circular route around its Thruscross Reservoir, off the A59 between Skipton and Harrogate, because the large number of trees damaged in the storm posed a safety risk to walkers.