Call for visitors to show some consideration and stay away from closed forests
Forestry and Land Scotland is urging people to be more considerate and follow advice to stay away from closed, storm-damaged forests.
The call comes after visitors to Screel Hill – a closed forest south of Castle Douglas - have been parking inconsiderately at roadside and in field entrances, which is disrupting other road users, the local community and farm businesses.
Robin Fuller, FLS Forest Planner, said,
“Screel Hill was one of the forests most badly affected by Storm Arwen, with large areas of the forest blowing down.
“The car park is closed because there are dangerous windblown trees in the area and access to the Screel Hill path, a core path managed by Dumfries and Galloway Council, is also blocked by fallen trees.
“Storm damage is extremely hazardous. It might look solid but downed or partially fallen trees can twist, roll, pivot or fall at the slightest touch and can cause serious injury.
“It is imperative that people listen to our advice, stay away from closed forest and check forest updates on our web pages for alternative destinations, such as Dalbeattie Forest or Doach Wood.”
FLS’ is working hard on plans to begin the clearance this summer of fallen trees around the car park and forest road as quickly and safely as possible to allow safe access for visitors.
D&G Councils Countryside Access Team advised,
“We appreciate that with the path being so popular, visitors might feel frustrated, however we would advise that they follow the guidance from FLS and avoid the Screel Hill path until it is safe to use.
“Parking on verges and in field entrances is inconsiderate and presents hazards to other road users, pedestrians and local residents as well as to the emergency services, should they need to use the roads.
“We will continue to work with FLS to ensure that access is restored as soon – and as safely – as possible.”
The latest updates on all FLS forests are online.
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.