Felling operations to tackle tree disease

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Forest Enterprise Scotland is advising members of the public that access to Mabie and Heathhall forests will be restricted when felling operations start over the next few months

The felling will remove trees that are infected with Phytophthora ramorum, a disease which has badly affected larch in the south west of Scotland for several years.

Some un-infected larch will also be removed to help reduce the rate of spread of infection eastwards.  This will help in planning the operations work to minimise the impacts upon public access and recreation facilities. 

Work at Heathhall will commence over the next few months. This small informal access wood is very popular so felling will be done in sections to allow areas of the wood to remain open throughout. 

Mabie - is one of FES’s most popular recreation sites in the region - with 7Stanes Mountain bike trails as well as walking trails. Tree felling will be ongoing over the next few months with some trails closed during this period.

Public information notices, details of works and trail closures will be regularly updated and posted on site.

Sallie Bailey, District Manager in Dumfries and Borders Forest District, said;

“We appreciate that this will cause some inconvenience to visitors, but it’s important that we commence these works as soon as possible to slow the spread of the disease.

“The felling will impact on the landscape but it will give us the opportunity to improve the design of the forest. The affected areas will be replanted as soon as possible.

“Warning signs and diversions will be in place and we request that visitors follow the advice given to ensure their safety.

“We would also urge visitors to join us in our ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign, which asks that, before arriving, visitors clean their boots, any kit they’re bringing, bike tyres if you’re cycling and even pets paws if you walk dogs.

“Pests and diseases can travel from one forest to another in mud and forest debris so taking a few minutes to clean it off can make a big difference to the health of our forests.”

Alternative Forest destinations include The Hills, Dalbeattie and Ae, all of which are unaffected by the works.

Visitors should check trail updates for Heathhall and Mabie ahead of their trip.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.