Residents’ fears over woodland

Local residents want Lower Bellwood to remain protected
Local residents want Lower Bellwood to remain protected

Residents fearing the loss of a popular woodland in Banchory will tell councillors of their concerns next week.

Aberdeenshire Council wants to end protection for Lower Bellswood and revoke the Tree Preservation (TPO) in force.

The move has caused alarm among local people and objectors will have an opportunity to outline their opposition at Tuesday’s Marr Area Committee.

Residents are worried the loss of the safeguard could pose a threat to the woodland, an important wildlife habitat.

They maintain it is also well used by the community and are urging the council to halt its plans.

The issue had been due to be discussed at last month’s area committee but was deferred to allow objectors the chance to speak.

Councillors are being asked by officials to confirm two TPOs and revoke one - Lower Bellswood.

The TPO was put in place in 1990 by the former Kincardine and Deeside District Council before ownership and management was taken over by Aberdeenshire Council in 2009.

The local authority has previously stated that there are controls in place, without the TPO, to protect the Lower Bellswood trees.

The area contains, among others, Scots pine, conifer and larch, and is home to a variety of bird species and also red squirrels.

More than 20 householders have objected to the council’s intention to remove the protection order for the woodland.