Press Release

09 October 2012

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Great Storm.

On the evening of Thursday 15 October and into the early hours of Friday 16 October winds reached gusts of up to 100mph and an estimated 15 million trees, including six of the seven famous oak trees in Sevenoaks, were toppled. Such was the scale of this dramatic and devastating event, 25 years on people can still remember where they were and what they were doing in the hours after weatherman Michael Fish gave his infamous forecast.

To commemorate the anniversary the Department of Geographical and Life Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University will be hosting a free, one day conference: Healing Landscapes: trees and society 25 years on from the Great Storm, on Saturday 20 October.

In association with the NHS Forest, the conference will explore the legacy of the storm and the importance of trees to society, especially their impact on education, community, health and well-being.

Professor Peter Vujakovic, Head of the Department of Geographical and Life Sciences, said: “While the immediate response to the storm-damaged trees and woodland was horror, it has become evident that the event created an exciting opportunity to review our understanding of the resilience of woodland habitats and of dynamic landscape change.”

The conference will also celebrate the planting of the Jubilee Orchard at the Canterbury Campus as part Canterbury Christ Church University’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The orchard is part of the Bioversity initiative to foster the green spaces of St Augustine Abbey as part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site. The orchard is registered as part of the national NHS Forest.

The conference is open and free, but registration prior to the event is required.  To reserve your place please ring Jaimie Morris on 01227 782331 or Maria Hamilton on 01227 782337. Alternatively  email

For more information on the conference visit:

Notes to Editor

  • NHS Forest is an exciting national project coordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare that aims to improve the health of staff, patients and communities through increasing access to green space on or near to NHS land; and encouraging greater social cohesion between NHS sites and the local community.

Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • 93% of our recent UK undergraduates are in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2011 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • 2012 is the University’s Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2010/11 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey


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Last edited: 14/12/2018 22:15:00