Work to halt tree disease at Beinn Ghuilean starts in New Year
Trail restrictions will be in place around Beinn Ghuilean, by Campbeltown, from January – April 2020 when urgent tree felling begins to help slow the spread of a deadly tree disease.
Forestry and Land Scotland is to carry out the work in a bid to slow the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, a disease which primarily affects and kills larch trees.
Tommy McGrory, FLS Planning Forester, said;
“We’ll begin work mid-December to prepare the site and make sure that trails within the work zone are closed and safety signage is in place but the main felling and extraction operations will start in January following the Christmas/New Year break.
“We’re having to remove around 7500 tonnes of timber from the forest and, presuming that we are not hampered by too much bad weather, it could take 4 – 6 months to complete.
“Public safety is always a high priority for us and that means putting access restrictions in place for Beinn Ghuilean Forest.
“The worksite zone will be strictly a no go area however the rest of the forest will still be accessible but we would urge all visitors to observe and obey the safety signage in the forest.
“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause but we hope that visitors will understand and appreciate the need for the closures.”
The impact of the disease can be devastating for larch and can have a significant impact on the look of forests and of the wider landscape. There are no remedies for it, other than to fell any affected trees before the disease has a chance to spread to other larch trees nearby.
Visitors can also help stop the spread of the disease by following FLS’s ‘Keep It Clean’ advice and brushing off forest debris and mud from their boots, walking gear, bike wheels and dogs paws before and after visiting the forest.
The spores that cause the disease can travel from forest to forest on twigs, leaf litter and mud.
It is anticipated that the felling operations will be carried out over several months and Phase 1 will be completed by the April 2020. However, if the infection continues to spread it is likely that the felling area may be increased.
Notes to editors
- Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Minsters 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 role as leaders of Sustainable Forest Management and Sustainable Development through their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.
- forestryandland.gov.scot | www.twitter.com/ForestryLS