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Trees made famous by Game Of Thrones felled by Storm Isha

A number of trees in Northern Ireland made famous by the TV series Game Of Thrones have been damaged and felled by Storm Isha.

Work is being carried out to clear up at the Dark Hedges site in Co Antrim.

The tunnel of trees became famous when it was featured in the HBO fantasy series and now attracts significant numbers of tourists from around the world.

Storm Isha battered Northern Ireland on Sunday night, with strong winds leaving thousands of properties without power and causing travel disruption.

Mervyn Storey, chairman of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, said: “It looks like there are three trees down.

“We have had people out since dawn trying to clear the road. There are a number of other trees down in the area as well.

“The Dark Hedges road is closed while the work continues.

“This is another blow to the Dark Hedges.

“It proves that the surveys that were carried out last year were worth doing.

“In fact one of the trees that was healthy has been blown down. It is very sad.”

Winter weather Jan 22nd 2024
Workmen continue their clear up (Liam McBurney/PA)

Mr Storey, a DUP councillor, added: “This was a very intense storm for a period of time.

“Because there has been snow and rain before, the ground around the base of the trees is sodden; when the wind comes they just move.

“It focuses again the need to have something which protects these trees, something to preserve what is left of the Dark Hedges.”

Last year work was carried out to remove six of the Dark Hedges trees and to carry out remedial work on several others after surveys highlighted safety issues over their condition.

Concerns have been raised about the state of several of the ancient beech trees for a number of years.

Winter weather Jan 22nd 2024
One of a number of trees in Northern Ireland made famous by the TV series Game Of Thrones that have been damaged and felled by Storm Isha (Liam McBurney/PA)

The trees in Bregagh Road, near Stranocum, are on privately-owned land.

The Department for Infrastructure said last year that an independent specialist survey had found that 11 trees, out of a total of 86, were in a poor condition and could pose a potential risk to the public.

Following discussions with relevant landowners and other stakeholders, arrangements were made to remove a number of the trees, retaining the stumps.

The trees were planted to line Bregagh Road to Gracehill House, which was built around 1775.

Originally, there were about 150 trees.