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Cologin Forest lies two miles south of Oban. The forest was planted in the 1980s, primarily as a commercial conifer woodland, but with some areas of broadleaved woodland along the more visible edges. A forest walk was provided but no forest road access. This has since been classified as a Core Path. Commercial conifers have grown exceptionally well. Commencement of harvesting is overdue as a result of the lack of access for forest operations and haulage of timber. However, forest road access from Lerags Glen into the edge of the forest was constructed in spring 2021. A Statutory Plant Health Notice (SPHN) requiring the felling of larch infected by Phytophthora ramorum was issued by Scottish Forestry in September 2021, requiring felling of larch close to the reservoir by the end of February 2022.

Oban’s public water supply reservoir lies immediately adjacent to the forest and is therefore regarded as a sensitive feature to be safeguarded in the plan. Landscape appraisal is important, particularly in views from the A816, taking into account guidance on forest resilience and diversification in response to climate change, along with a desire to restructure the even-aged forest. The southern part falls within an Area of Panoramic Quality. Commercial leisure industry sites, scattered residential dwellings and agricultural enterprises close to the forest have associated private water supplies, which also require protection.

Rough moorland below a forested hilltop

Plan objectives

  • Timber production – commercial conifer areas
  • Protection of the public water supply – Loch Gleann a’ Bhearraidh
  • Protection of private water supplies
  • Landscape enhancement
  • Development of forest health resilience against tree diseases
  • Blanket bog/deep peat restoration
  • Enhancement of social benefits through forest design
  • To comply with UKWAS guidance for certification and UKFS

Timeline

  • Summer 2021 – Preparation of draft plan
  • Autumn 2021 – Start consultation with stakeholders
  • February 2022 -Community consultation drop-in event: Tuesday 15 February 2022, 2pm to 6pm, Kilmore Village Hall
  • Spring 2022 - Finalise plan and undertake further stakeholder consultation
  • Summer 2022 – Submission to Scottish Forestry

Land management plan documents and maps