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‘It’s a bit raw at the moment!’ Damage from ‘tornado’ to glasshouses at West Pinchbeck nursery

A nursery owner says he is feeling ‘raw’ after a ‘tornado’ swept through his glasshouses this weekend.

West Pinchbeck’s Millview Nurseries is still waiting to discover the cost of the damage done - but confirmed it was the victim of freak weather conditions.

“It’s a bit raw at the moment. It just came out of nowhere,” said Mike Roberts, who owns the Fengate Road business.

“It came across the fields, dropped down over our windbreak, then travelled across the glasshouses and out the end and continued off across the fields.

“We’ve lost several hundred panes of glass. The frameworks are hanging, but there’s not much glass left in them.”

A TikTok video posted by user @gyredial shows a swirling formation looming over Spalding on Saturday (June 15).

Millview Nurseries in Spalding. Image: Google
Millview Nurseries in Spalding. Image: Google

While the storm has been a costly one for the company, Mr Roberts is trying to look on the bright side.

“From a certain point of view we’re fairly lucky because we’re getting to the end of our season and and a lot of the glasshouses were fairly empty at the time,” he said.

“It hasn’t affected the area of glass that was getting stuff ready for next year’s stock.

A screen shot of the tornado video posted on TikTok
A screen shot of the tornado video posted on TikTok

“So, from that point of view, we are, can you call it lucky?”

After viewing images and the video, a Met Office spokesperson confirmed it was either a tornado or funnel cloud which struck the nursery.

“Funnel clouds are spinning clouds that extend towards the ground, but don’t touch it,” they said.

“When they do reach the ground they become a tornado.”

An average of around 30 tornadoes are reported in the UK each year.

“Tornadoes do happen in the UK, however, generally small and short-lived, but can cause some structural damaged in built up areas,” the spokesperson continued.

“Due to how short-lived these features are, they are not usually captured by radar imagery so can only be assessed by looking at the evidence on the ground and captured via video or photographs.”

East Midlands weather expert Phil Morrish added: “This is what we call a funnel cloud.

“It forms in the same way as a tornado but a funnel cloud never touches the ground and so doesn’t cause any damage.

“There were some very intense showers on Saturday with the clouds reaching up to 30,000 feet.

“Within these clouds there are up and down drafts that cause the hail as the drops get carried to the top of the cloud but the down drafts can come from the base of the cloud and start the spinning motion indicative of a tornado but it only becomes a tornado if it touches the ground, but is called a funnel cloud if it does not.”

Were you affected by the freak weather incident? Let us know in the comments below…

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