Corlarach access restrictions to tackle tree disease
Public being urged to ‘stay safe’ and ‘keep it clean’ for duration of felling activity
An extensive programme of felling and woodland site closures is planned across Corlarach Forest near Dunoon from September, following an outbreak of a tree disease that affects Larch trees.
Phytophthora Ramorum is a tree disease that has been present in Scotland for many years and can’t be eradicated. The only way to slow the rate of spread is to fell the infected trees and those surrounding them.
Felling operations will mean certain areas and paths throughout Corlarach Forest will be closed to the public for their own safety. However, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is calling on the local community’s help to prevent further spread of the disease.
Walkers, cyclists and dog owners are asked to be extra vigilant and follow important @Keep it Clean’ advice to ensure footwear, bikes, kit and dogs’ paws are always clean before and after visiting any woodland.
Carol McGinnes, Regional Manager, FLS said: “The presence of the disease will require significant work over the coming months.
“We have to carry this felling out by law but whilst we are doing this we will aim to keep as many trails and areas within the forest open, However, we have to advise that that closures and felling will have an impact on those visiting the forest.
“We are asking for the public and local communities to help. Increased work across Corlarach will mean there will be multiple contractors working in the area with heavy machinery. For everyone’s safety we are calling on people to be vigilant and obey all on site safety signage.
“Larch trees are deciduous so when their needles shed, they can easily be picked up on feet and moved from one woodland to another. Cleaning footwear, bike tyres and dog paws are very simple but effective ways to prevent the disease spreading.
“We will be providing regular updates on the progress of our work and thank our neighbours for their support and understanding.”
Felling operations and site closures will begin in early September in order to remove affected trees and reduce the risk of spread to other woodlands in Cowal and Argyll. Removal of nearby rhododendron plants will also take place as part of the large scale operations, which will remove over 123 hectares of trees from the site within its initial phase.
Further phases of felling over the next two years will see all larch trees removed from Corlarach. Following the removal of the trees a programme of replanting felled areas will be carried out in due course.
Forestry and Land Scotland’s ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign provides important advice to help prevent the spread of anything harmful.
For further information, please contact Forestry and Land Scotland on 0300 067 6600. More information on operations and access will be available on Forestry and Land Scotland's website once plans have been finalised.
Notes to editors