Storm leaves many North-east forests unsafe for public access

With forecasts of more high gusts of wind over the next few days, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has issued a plea to residents in the north and east of Scotland to stay away from its forests.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 7:35 am
Partially fallen and damaged trees pose a safety risk to the public.
Partially fallen and damaged trees pose a safety risk to the public.

As the organisation continues to assess the levels of damage that Storm Arwen inflicted on Scotland’s national forests and land, the organisation’s team in the area is warning of the significant risks to public safety.

David Leven, FLS’ East Region Manager, said: “Many of our forests have been badly impacted with many trails blocked and forest roads and infrastructure damaged.

“There are also a significant number of trees that have been blown over but only partially fallen, as well as a number of trees that are still standing but which might come down in the next heavy gust.

“With more strong winds forecast we don’t want anyone risking their personal safety – or potentially their life – by venturing in to our forests until such time as we can declare them safe.

“Emergency vehicles might well not be able to reach anyone who has an accident so please, stay away for the moment.”

Clearing up the Storm Arwen damage could take months and priority is being given to tree work on locations that provide an immediate risk to people or property.

FLS’ focus will then shift to providing essential access for communities, neighbours and forestry businesses.

The FLS web pages – forestryandland.gov.scot – will be updated regularly to keep members of the public updated on progress.