News, stories and reports from Forestry Commission Scotland and the National Forest Estate

A82 tree felling work above Loch Ness

One of our most challenging projects is the felling of nearly 100 year old trees on steep slopes high above the A82 between Glencoe and Inverness. The operations will help to improve the resilience of the A82 against unplanned road closures as a result of extreme weather or storm events.

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Work began in 2011 at Glen Righ (Corran Ferry) in 2011 with further work successfully delivered since then at Loch Lochy, Alt Sigh and at Invermoriston. The harvesting operations alone (over an estimated 15 year period) represent an investment of around £16M into the A82 corridor.

Felling and extraction operations got underway in late 2016 above Loch Ness near Primrose Bay in Inverness, Ross & Skye Forest District following the completion of A82 Project operations at Glen Righ and Loch Lochy in Lochaber Forest District. The work was suspended over June and July for the busy tourist traffic with operations restarting in early September. The felling at Primrose Bay is expected to be completed by summer 2018 following geotechnical (slope stability) work on the cleared slopes.

The skyline team recently upgraded the skyline to a 46 Tonne base unit to extract the very large trees (up to 10 tonnes in weight) off the hillside.

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The operations alongside Loch Ness comprise the most difficult and extensive phase of the A82 Project. There are also considerable geotechnical issues above Loch Ness with the combined geotechnical and felling operations here likely to last for upwards of 10 years.  FES is currently undertaking a risk based appraisal exercise which along with input from Transport Scotland will help inform decision making around the direction and pace of its A82 operations beyond Primrose Bay.