Action to halt tree disease means trail closures for Beinn Ghuilean
Urgent tree felling to help slow the spread of a deadly tree disease will mean access restrictions for Beinn Ghuilean Forest towards the end of September.
The warning comes from the Forestry and Land Scotland team that looks after the site, following the confirmed presence of Phytophthora ramorum, a disease which primarily affects and kills larch trees.
The impact of the disease can be devastating for larch and can have a significant impact on the look of forests and of the wider landscape. There are no remedies for it, other than to fell any affected trees before the disease has a chance to spread to other larch trees nearby.
Tommy McGrory, FLS Planning Forester, said;
“This disease can have a devastating impact and if we are minimise its effect in Beinn Ghuilean Forest and other forests in the area, then we need to fell infected trees before the disease has a chance to spread.
“Public safety is our top priority so we will have to close some of the trails in the forest while the team is carrying out the felling work.
“Diversions and alternative routes will be put in place wherever possible but we would urge all visitors to observe and obey the safety signage in the forest.
“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause but we hope that visitors will understand and appreciate the need for the closures.”
Visitors can also help stop the spread of the disease by following FLS’s ‘Keep It Clean’ advice and brushing off forest debris and mud from their boots, walking gear, bike wheels and dogs paws before and after visiting the forest.
The spores that cause the disease can travel from forest to forest on twigs, leaf litter and mud.
It is anticipated that the felling operations will be carried out over several months and be completed by the end of the year. However if the infection continues to spread it is likely that the felling area may be increased.
Notes to editors
- Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was established as an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government on 1 April 2019, following completion of the devolution of forestry as a result of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018. It replaces Forest Enterprise Scotland.
- The purpose of FLS is to manage forests and land owned by Scottish Minsters in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; and delivers benefits for people and nature. FLS may manage other forested and non-forested land by arrangement, as set out in the Act.
- The primary focus of FLS, in delivering its purpose, is to support Scottish Ministers in their role as leaders of Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Development through their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.
- www.forestryandland.gov.scot | www.twitter.com/ForestryLS