Felling tackles infected trees

Felling operations at Mabie and Ae forests are expected to last until February.
Felling operations at Mabie and Ae forests are expected to last until February.

Felling operations will take place at two local forests over the next two months to tackle the spread of a disease deadly to trees in the area.

The work at Mabie and Ae forests will remove larch trees infected with Phytophthora ramorum as well as some of the healthy trees around them.

Forest Enterprise Scotland has warned that temporary diversions and closures will be in force at forests while felling takes place over the next few months.

Work at Ae Forest will start within the next few weeks and will last until the end of February. Some preventative felling will take place this month in Mabie Forest, also due to finish towards the end of February.

Sallie Bailey, district manager in Dumfries and Borders Forest District, said: “We know that the temporary restrictions will cause some inconvenience to visitors, but we need to undertake this important work as soon as possible.

“The felling is legally required to help minimise and slow down the spread of the disease. We will carry it out as quick as possible and ensure the public are kept updated on any diversions or closures of trails. The felling will give us the opportunity to improve the overall design of the forest and make it more resilient for future years. The affected areas will also be replanted as soon as possible.”

Information notices, details of works and trail closures will be regularly updated and posted on site and visitors are also being advised to check trail updates online ahead of their trip and make themselves aware of the ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign. Details can be found at http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/keep-it-clean