Slow but steady – and safely - for forest clear up

Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) post-Arwen clear-up work has seen the re-opening of the carpark at Bennachie Visitor Centre but the FLS team in the area is warning that other woodlands will take longer to re-open.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 8:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 8:33 am
FLS has warned that some woodlands will take longer to re-open.
FLS has warned that some woodlands will take longer to re-open.

Members of the public are being specifically advised to check the FLS website before visiting because access to Glenn Doll, Tentsmuir and the woodlands around Aberdeen is limited.

Justin Livesey, FLS Area Visitor Services Manager, said: “Clearing windblow is a dangerous and difficult job and needs to be planned meticulously.

“The satellite imagery that we received from Scottish Forestry has given us a very good understanding of the main areas we need to focus on but we need to obtain more detailed aerial imagery in order to properly plan the clear up work.

Some paths in Deeside have restrictions including Queens Drive path at Braemar.

“It is a long and slow process – and it needs to be because it carries significant risk.

"There can be huge tension and forces both in individual trees as well as in jammed stems and root plates that need to be assessed by trained professionals before any clearance work can begin.

“We are therefore asking members of the public to help us by continuing to avoid affected forests. As well as giving our teams the space to work, it will help avoid any accidents and minimise health and safety concerns.”

Felled trees, hanging trees and even trees that are still standing can all be unstable after a major storm. Trees can roll, pivot, slide or fall at the slightest disturbance.

Unstable trees, parts of trees, root plates and stones can suddenly topple, tip over, fall or roll away without any visible reason even days, weeks or months after a storm.

Up-to-date information on FLS forests and access can be found online at forestryandland.gov.scot

Throughout the Cairngorms National Park, a number of paths were temporarily closed due to storm damage.

However, many have now reopened to the public:

Glenlivet – there are currently no trails closed. However, there are still unstable and dangerous trees across the Estate woodlands. Please follow all signage across Glenlivet Estate and exercise caution and vigilance when accessing any wooded areas.

Glen Tanar – Riverbank path in Glen Tanar now open due to terrific effort by Estate forestry team and our volunteers, as are all our core paths

Braemar – Queens Drive path- significant wind blow that is being moved please follow all on-site signage and diversion

Glen Doll – Glen Doll car park is now open. There is significant windblown damage to the forestry resulting in all waymarked trails being impassable. The Kilbo path is an accessible route up to Mayer and Driesh but there is one section of fallen trees in the upper forest in Corrie Kilbo (just after the stepping stones) that should be avoided.

Atholl – Atholl Estates Ranger Service asks that you exercise caution and vigilance while accessing their woodlands until they have fully assessed any damage caused, and undertaken the necessary work to ensure the woods and trails are safe again