As if Floods were not enough – now another Duststorm

July 29, 2021 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Community


Godshill has been hit with its second duststorm inside a matter of weeks. Residents say that they don’t remember such an occurence during the past 20-odd years. Much of Church Hollow, Church Hill, School Road, School Crescent, Moor View and Ternal Mead saw the sun disappear from the sky as a cloud of sand or dust descended over the area yesterday afternoon. Some reported it lying up to an inch deep. It is unknown as to what might be in this dust. If it is coming off the fields being cultivated by Staples, as several Church Hill residents report, it may include fertilisers or other agricultural chemicals. Godshill Online encouraged residents to contact the Isle of Wight Public Health Department (01983 823670) this morning.

At one point, the conditions were so severe that visitors to Godshill were unable to walk up Church Hollow to the church. The duststorm was blowing in their faces and they had to turn back. Many said that it totally ruined their visit to Godshill.

With winds gusting to over 50 tomorrow we may well see this all over again.

Comments flooded in to the Friends of Godshill Facebook group including:

Benjamin Dyer
Well it’s been a interesting weather week hasn’t it. Rain, floods, mud slides, now dust clouds from the bare fields… is this Godshill or Mars? The bare fields are really causing mayhem. The Whitwell road was a torrent of mud. Our house is currently full of sand / dust with this wind, would be a nightmare for asthmatics. I have an inch of that field’s contents inside every room of the house!

Marilyn O’Loughlin
My beautiful garden is ruined I’m so upset. Ours is covered in dust too as our backs right onto a field. I’m also asthmatic and had to stay in all day as I feel tight chested from it even though the doors and windows are shut.

Tracy Wilkinson Morgan
It’s awful. Dust everywhere in my house. My garden sofas a complete mess. All my vegetables in my greenhouse are smothered in it and well what can I say about my car, it’s crazy as I’ve lived here for 15 years and this is the first year it has happened like this! I had put some washing out just before it was all blowing around I got it in within 15 mins and my clothes are ruined. I’ve washed it again twice and it won’t come out so will have to throw them.

Karen Sephton
All our windows are shut in Moor View, thank goodness it’s not as hot as it was! Just stepped outside for a minute & my eyes & teeth are gritty.

Claudia J Souter
I have done the same (Moor View) opened small kitchen window for 5 mins and dust everywhere

Zélie Gordon
My house is covered in it. My day off tomorrow and I’ll have to clean the whole house. Last time it happened I was walking my dog thru village. It was horrible. Such a shame for the visitors and the last thing you need as a business at the moment.

Emma Bravery
Our house in Ternal Mead is covered as well.

Zoe Davis
Well I left my windows open in the kitchen and bathroom so you can just imagine what I came home to today. It’s definitely coming off the fields at the back of me.


Karen Bradley
Our house is covered inside and out, greenhouse is covered as are my garden plants. The whole house needs cleaning!

Ann Walker
I look out my back door towards the church I thought it was smoke. I did not realise it was dust. Can you believe what is happening in Godshill?

Annabel Robin Cattle (Daisy Daisy)
My shop and its contents are once again completely covered with orange dust. The visitors trying to enjoy the village yesterday were really struggling. I had many many comments about how awful it was and how it had ruined their visit. No-one was going up to the Church as the dust blowing down Church Hollow was just too extreme. It took us over a week to get it all cleaned up last time. In the 13 years we’ve been in Godshill this is the first year we have ever had problems with dust storms.

  1. Colin said on July 29, 2021 11:48 am:

    Benjamin Dyer has just spoken to the Enviromental Health. He says: “, the helpful chap there has asked me to pass on their email address with a suggestion that you all email them with details. He was quite adamant that the more emails they have the faster they can hopefully do something about it. Email is:

  2. Marilyn O'Loughlin said on July 29, 2021 12:05 pm:

    I am fuming that this has happened and will happen again tomorrow in the 50+ winds we are due. I am asthmatic and am really struggling to breathe again for the second day running. It’s a shocking state of affairs that we are having to clean up not only from the floods from last week but now the dust storms.

  3. Colin said on July 29, 2021 2:13 pm:

    Amanda at Koala Cottage on Church Hollow has spent some hours on the phone this morning and has made some progress! Here is what Amanda has to say:

    I have spoken with environmental health, who acknowledge the severity of the matter and have referred on to The Health and Safety Executive uk for them to investigate. I’ve also spoken to Dan Reynolds, the farmer who owns and farms the field, Dan is affiliated with Staples uk. Dan stated that the sand storm is due to the weather and nothing can be done, even though I pointed out the devastation the sand storm has had on domestic and village businesses. I pointed out that he has a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of the surrounding residents and properties. He expIained that he has been unable to plant any crops on the field, due to the extreme rain fall and therefore the field had laid bare and open to the elements. He explained that he intends to plant crops on the field tomorrow which will secure the sand surface, however, this is dependent on whether it rains again tonight. I then spoke with the head office director of Staples in Lincoln who finally agreed to place Staples wagons at the end of the field at the top of Merryl lane to act as a temporary barrier to reduce the impact from the strong winds forecasted for tomorrow. I requested that hedges are planted in the space on Merryl lane where there is no barrier/ hedging, which the Director agreed to do but didn’t feel was necessary. We will have to wait and see if the farmer completes these tasks. I will keep an eye on the progress.

  4. Michelle Taylor said on August 2, 2021 2:37 pm:

    I too am a local resident living in the area affected by the cloud of red sand and dust that left everything inside and outside of my home covered -not once but twice! I have read other residents comments with interest but also wonder if the area of land that has been excavated at the bottom of Church Hill to facilitate the building of new properties may have increased the surge of rain water bringing with it the run off from the fields above? This land has been levelled to facilitate the buildings and there is no longer a barrier by way of a large mound of earth to absorb the rain water that brings the dust. Hopefully, this is a freak of nature and won’t happen again but I remain sceptical. I have lived here for 25 years and have never seen anything like it neither have I ever know the properties down and around School Crescent to flood. I hope this matter will be thoroughly investigated and will be an agenda item at the next Parish Council meeting whereby updates will be given.