Arran bridge work keeps school project on track
Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) South Region team has helped keep the wheels on Arran High School Mountain Bike Club’s plans to develop an all-weather skills trail facility at Dyemill Forest, Lamlash.
Following a successful asset transfer request to FLS the Club purchased 5.71 hectares of land at Dyemill Forest. The project was given a written offer of funding from SportsScotland - as long as the work was completed by 10 June 2023.
However, their plans to build an accessible, inclusive and safe mountain biking facility nearly came a cropper thanks to the existing bailey bridge access to the site being condemned as unsafe.
FLS’ South Region Manager, John Dougan, said;
“The Existing bridge hadn’t been used for some time and had become unsafe and not fit for use and was due to be removed soon and a new bridge installed at a different location in Monamore Glen to better facilitate future timber harvesting operations in the area, which are due to commence in the next few years.
However, it became apparent that time required to build a new bridge at a new location would have unacceptable delayed the Club’s plans, and that the condemned nature of the existing structure presented a real challenge to the club taking forward its plans in the coming months.
“To try to help out, our engineers therefore took another look at the existing bridge and have been able to make suitable repairs and where necessary replacements to its structure to allow it to be brought back into use.
“With the bridge now sorted out, the Club can now get on with develop this amazing new resource for Arran and, when we eventually do get to those timber felling sites, we’ll having a working bridge in good order and ready for use, so its been a great outcome all round.”
The bridge had been closed for some time and was unsafe due to issues with the integrity of the abutments. Rust had also attacked several sections of the bridge. Fortunately the bridge, who’s innovation dates all the way back to the second world war, is “modular” in its design, so the rusted sections, as well as all the deck boards, have now been replaced and armour stone has been put in place to protect one of the abutments.
Arran High School Mountain Bike Club regarding the Dyemill Skills Trail Project that is currently underway.
Steve Garraway, Club Treasurer, said;
"Arran High School Mountain Bike Club is delighted that we have been able to complete a Community Asset Transfer of almost 6 hectares of woodland from Forestry and Land Scotland in the Dyemill area of Lamlash.
“We would like to thank the team at FLS for all their efforts and supporting us throughout the process, including bringing forward bridge repairs to enable access to the site.
“Their continued support with everything to with mountain biking on Arran, and in Scotland, is very much appreciated by our community and we cannot thank their organisation enough.”
Notes to editors
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.