Puck’s Glen felling to slow spread of fatal tree disease
Urgent forestry work required at Puck’s Glen will mean that all access will be stopped – except for the Big Tree trail, which will also have some diversions in place.
Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is advising the public that felling to tackle an outbreak of tree disease Phytophthora ramorum at Upper Puck’s Glen, (near Dunoon) next month will see the Black Gates trail closed. Efforts to remove an unsafe tree stump will also mean that there will be a delay to the re-opening of the Pucks Glen trail.
Carol McGinnes, FLS Central Region Manager, said;
“This tree disease causes extensive damage and mortality to larch trees and other plants and the only way we can deal with it is to fell and remove affected trees.
“We know that this will have a big impact on the Glen but It’s vital that we deal with this outbreak now in order to slow the spread of this disease to other forests in the area.
“In order for us to carry out the felling safely, we are closing part of Puck’s Glen to the local residents and the general public who might normally be using this site for their daily exercise under the current COVID-19 restrictions.
“The Black Gates trail is already closed and the Pucks Glen trail will close until we deal with the unsafe tree stump and make it safe. The Big Tree trail will remain open but with diversions in place when require and everyone must follow the signage for their own safety and the peace of mind of our team. There is no access to the upper gorge above black gates trail and no access to the forest road.
“We understand that this will cause some minor inconvenience but we would like to thank our neighbours for their support and understanding.”
The work is being carried out to meet the legal requirement to fell an area of infected trees as set out in the Statutory Plant Health Notice (SPHN) issued by Scottish Forestry.
From 1 June, for two to three weeks, tractors and trailers will be hauling stone from the Inverchapel forest entrance along the forest road and anyone using the Big Tree Trail should be aware of this.
Haulage vehicles and other heavy machinery will also be accessing or working in the area continuously so members of the public are urged to keep clear of the work area at all times and to obey safety signage in place elsewhere at the site. Civils roadworks will begin in June and full scale felling will begin from mid-July onwards.
Following the removal of the trees a programme of replanting felled areas will be carried out in due course.
Regular updates will be available on FLS web pages.
“Current Scottish Government and NHS guidance on staying safe during the current public health crisis requires that everyone avoid making unnecessary journeys.
“This is also good advice for helping to restrict the spread of this tree disease , which can be carried to new, uninfected forests in mud or on larch needles that are all easily picked up on feet, paws or bike wheels.
“We would hope that everyone is following this guidance – but none the less, if you are local and planning to visit, please clean your boots, gear and bike wheels before you come and make sure to brush forest debris and mud from boots, paws, walking poles and wheels before you leave the forest”
Forestry and Land Scotland’s ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign provides important advice to help prevent the spread of anything harmful.
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.