A82 forest operations
The A82 project is removing non-native conifers along the Loch Ness to mitigate against future hill slips and protect this iconic road. Our contractors are currently working on an area four miles from Drumnadrochit.
We are currently removing mostly Douglas firs, which were planted on the hillside around 90-years-ago, making them some of the earliest plantings by the Forestry Commission in Scotland. These giant trees are now getting too large for the landscape and causing a potential risk to environmental stressors such as windfall. This creates a safety concern since the trees are located on a steep hillside over the loch and road.
The Douglas firs are being replaced with a rich native natural woodland, which will be more sustainable for the future and will build more resilience into the hillside. The project, which started in 2012, will take up to 25 years to complete. This is due to the scale but also the complexity of the landscape and technical aspects of the project.
Who we're working with
This is a massive partnership program and it’s wouldn’t be possible without the ongoing effort and support from our geotechnical engineering consultants, emergency services, Transport Scotland, Traffic Scotland, Bear Scotland, Duffy Skylining and The Highland Council.
Safety is our number one priority for this project, therefore we are using red-to-red traffic management systems to stop the flow of traffic while we are felling and removing trees from the site.
This will cause delays around the site, for real-time travel information you can visit Traffic Scotland.
Due to the steepness of the hillside and the geological make-up of the landscape we have installed large safety fences along the site. These are in place to catch any falling rocks or debris, which may come loose during the harvesting operations.
Steep ground felling
Large-scale harvesting operations have been underway above the A82 since the start of the 2013. The initial operations started at Glen Righ (south of Fort William).
We are currently working south of Drumnadrochit at a site called Barksheds. Skyline extraction is being used to compensate for the steep terrain the trees are located on. This highly technical forestry technique uses industrial cables to remove trees from the hillside.
Photos of the site
- A82 Management Strategy (PDF 79KB)
- A82 Management Strategy Consultation Responses (PDF 92KB)
- A82 Management Strategy Drop In Day Feedback (PDF 42KB)
Get in touch
If you have any questions about the A82 project, please contact:
Forestry and Land Scotland