Lord of the Rings pine forest destroyed by storms

For nearly two weeks foresters (from left) Lauren Queree, Dan Stewart and Peter Fleming have been...
For nearly two weeks foresters (from left) Lauren Queree, Dan Stewart and Peter Fleming have been clearing storm-blown trees from a Lord of the Rings filming location site at Tarras. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK
An unassuming pine plantation that put the small rural town of Tarras on the map of Lord of the Rings fans has been destroyed by alpine thunder-and-lightning storms worthy of a battle between Gandalf and the Balrog.

The recent storms — one in mid-August, the other on September 11 and 12 — felled about 30 big trees, which now block the route taken by elf Arwen and her horse Asfaloth as they carried the critically injured ring-bearer Frodo to the Ford of Bruinen.

Arwen and Frodo’s horse chase scene with the Black Riders was made famous in the first of Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, The Fellowship of The Rings.

The award-winning film trilogy was released between 2001 and 2003.

Property owner Chris Goddard said once the block had been tidied up he would replant.

A scene from The Fellowship of the Ring movie filmed in a pine plantation near Tarras. Photo: New...
A scene from The Fellowship of the Ring movie filmed in a pine plantation near Tarras. Photo: New Line Cinema
It was too soon to say what species he would choose.

"Step 1 is to remove the trees, all the slash. We are trying to deal with that without setting fire to it," Mr Goddard said.

He had contracted his neighbour, Dan Stewart, to clean up the mess.

Mr Stewart, a builder, bought a 20-tonne digger and a forestry block and started a new business, Luggate Logging, at the beginning of the year.

He and a couple of employees would be pulling felled trees out of Mr Goddard’s block for several weeks, Mr Stewart said.

He estimated many of the trees would be about 50 years old.

Some would produce between 20 to 25 cubic metres of firewood; others might produce just 7 to 8 cubic metres, he said.

marjorie.cook@odt.co.nz

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