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Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is inviting people living in and around Brodick to give their views on a how Merkland Forest is to be managed over the next ten years.

Merkland Forest (681ha), on the southern and eastern slopes of Goatfell, is a productive conifer forest that provides a backdrop to Brodick on the isle of Arran and is a major landscape feature in the view from the ferry on arrival to the island.

The new Land Management Plan outlines FLS’ focus over the next ten years, which will mainly be on sustainable timber production balanced with public access and other objectives.

FLS Planning Forester, Andrew Hutchinson, said;

“Looking after a forest like Merkland requires a long-term plan that tries to balance a wide range of outcomes.

“As well as ensuring that the forest continues to be a productive source of sustainable timber, we also take into account that it is a popular recreational area with many local people and for visitors the island.

“And there are landscape considerations as well as tree health issues with the larch tree disease Phytophthora ramorum across the island, biodiversity and habitat management elements including deer control, that all have to be taken into account.

“It’s a complex process and we’d like to explain what we’re planning, answer any questions people might have and also listen to ideas and suggestions on our proposals.

“We’re looking forward to meeting people but anyone wo can’t make it along to the drop-in session can also find out more and leave their views online.”

A drop in session will be held at Arran Library and Brodick Hall on Wednesday 28 June (1pm  – 5pm).

The Land Management Plan documents, including storymaps and a feedback form, are available to view online.

Notes to editors

  1. 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.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or