Forestry and Land Scotland begins to prepare for Dunardry felling
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is starting preliminary preparations for a major felling operation at Dunardry Hill, Knapdale.
Although harvesting is not due to begin on the 40ha site until late summer 2023, the fact that it is a National Scenic Area, is well used by local residents and is located immediately next to the road to Crinan and the Crinan Canal, means that the team has a unique set of challenges to meet.
James Robbins, FLS Delivery manager for the area, said;
“Despite this being regular forestry operations for us this is a complicated site that we need to work on now in order to deal with a number of challenging issues.
“As well as harvesting – some of which will be on the steep slope at the site – we will be felling dangerous and potentially dangerous trees at roadside and felling larch to help slow the spread of the tree disease Phytophthora ramorum.
“When work begins we will need to close the site completely but as we head towards that stage we’ll be liaising with all of our neighbours, local communities and businesses, and other stakeholders to keep everyone informed of our plans and the progress that we are making.
“It’s a complex site that requires a considerable amount of detailed planning because of the various issues we need to manage.”
Planning permission has now been granted given the site’s NSA status, FLS’s team has to ensure continued access through the site for neighbours, protect utilities, check for any wildlife that might also need protection and restrict all recreation access points to ensure public safety.
Civil engineering work also needs to be done to upgrade the forest roads in places to deal with the heavy plant that will be working there. The car park will be used as a welfare and parking area for FLS staff and contractors. .
“These operations will have quite a visual impact to begin with, but the site will very quickly re-green and the focus will very much be on the natural regeneration of native woodland. We will do some planting on the steep slope area along the public road as this will help with slope stability.
“We will also take the opportunity to re-instate and improve the footpaths and other visitors amenities with the potential to expand the carpark to increase its capacity so that more visitors can come to the site.”
As felling operations begin, access might be restricted for safety reason but every effort will be made to minimise any inconvenience.
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.