FLS’ work behind the scenes keeps COVID-19 effort on track
The constant supply of timber required to support the national COVID-19 effort has seen Forestry and Land Scotland’s civil engineering team hard at work to keep harvesting work on track.
Harvesting was one of the few forestry activities permitted during lockdown because the timber produced was used to make pallets (for carrying essential goods around the country), protective face masks for front line responders, and even wood fuel pellets, which are used by many hospital and care home heating systems.
However, getting the timber out is not always straightforward.
Engineer Jeff Hancox said;
“A site at Lochaline was identified for essential harvesting work but to get to it we needed to construct a new forest road – one of three needed in the area.
“However, the COVID-19 public health guidance meant that we very quickly had to develop and adopt new, safe working practices.
“We also had to make sure that our contractors understood the new requirements and that they would be supplying PPE and welfare facilities for their staff.
“Once everything was in place we started work and, several weeks in, the first of three new roads is complete, with harvesting of the essential timber planned to begin soon.”
Getting the project started under such difficult circumstances has helped ensure that essential timber supplies will continue to support the ongoing national COVID-19 effort.
It has also helped the civil engineering team develop new site management processes that will help ensure continued compliance in the future.
Work will continue until September of this year when all three roads (a distance of around 2km) are expected to be complete.
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.