Common sense call as South Scotland forest clear-up continues
With the clear-up of storm damage in some forests in South Scotland likely to continue for months, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is asking members of the public to use their common sense when visiting local woodlands.
Although some access routes continue to be closed for safety reasons, many are now open and ready for the welcome return of visitors.
The latest information on forests in the area can be found online.
FLS’ South Region Manager, John Dougan, said;
“Our teams and contractors are working hard to deal with the significant levels of storm damage in the forests we manage. It’s going to take months in some places to clear it all up but we are beginning to open up more recreational access.
"We know people want to get back into the forest and we are keen to welcome them back, so we are trying to balance that desire, whilst ensuring we do our best to keep people safe.
“Most of our walking trails are now at least partially open for visitors but there may still be some debris in places so we would ask visitors to take extra care, and you might not be able to fully utilise all of the trail.
“Some of our mountain bike trails are open but, due to the inherently higher speeds and risks of the sport, others will remain closed until such time as we have cleared all fallen trees and debris and also make any necessary trail repairs. We continue to work on this, and more trails will open up as we get that clearance and repair work done.
“We would advise everyone to keep checking the website for the latest information before leaving home and that when they do arrive at a forest to follow some simple rules to keep themselves safe."
FLS is asking all visitors to :
- always obey signage
- stay well away from work areas
- if a path or trail is blocked, turn back (if you can’t get through easily neither can emergency services)
- do not walk around, climb over or duck under felled trees
- With more storms forecast, please avoid going to the forest when weather conditions are bad, as trees which have previously been made unstable may be blown down without warning
“It’s great to see people back in the forests, speaking to people, I know they are frustrated but do understand that things will be disrupted, to an extent, for some time to come. I really appreciate the fact that most people are exercising common sense, and are trying to use the forest in a safe way. We’ll keep working away to get things back to normal as soon as we can”
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.