Forest safety call
In the wake of Storm Otto, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is urging visitors to exercise extreme caution if they are visiting woodlands in Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire and Angus.
The call comes as FLS staff move quickly to assess the levels of storm damage to the forests it manages across these areas.
FLS Regional Manager, David Leven, said;
“Otto has not been as bad as Storm Arwen but it has caused considerable damage.
“Unfortunately, storm damage is not always easily identifiable as some trees can be uprooted but not hit the ground if they are caught up in standing trees surrounding them.
“These ‘hanging’ trees can be extremely unstable and can come down without any warning.
“We would ask that our staff are given time to make their assessments to ensure that visitors are not exposed to any risk.”
Some forests in Aberdeenshire remain closed as a result of severe storm damage inflicted by storms over the winter of 2021/’22.
Although the impact of Storm Otto is anticipated to be less extreme, it might have had a disproportionate effect on forests already weakened by previous extreme weather events.
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
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.