Forestry Commission are putting Moss of Cree Wood up for sale

Forestry Commission Scotland are putting the Moss of Cree wood up for sale but are still planning to extract the timber from it if an agreement can be reached with local residents over the road out.

A letter from the commission to the Wigtown Community Council on Monday night was read out by chairman Nic Walker giving the members notice the sale was coming up.

Mr Walker said that the community council were well aware that the residents who lived down the Moss of Cree road were “deeply concerned” about the Forestry Commission’s plans to extract timber from the wood and in particular, what route the logging truck would use to get the logs from the wood onto the A714. The chairman mused that this notice could be the Forestry Commission putting feelers out about a possible community buy-out.

Mid Galloway Councillor Jim McColm said he believed there was around 200 acres of standing trees in the wood. He added: “Purchasing the wood is one thing, extracting the timber is another and the ground the trees are on is extremely soft as well.”

A Forestry Commission Scotland spokesman said: “Moss of Cree has been a candidate for sale for a number of years but was never sold. The woodland is now intended to be made available next year in the Commission’s 2014-15 round of disposals of surplus land. Our intention is still to work the woodland for its timber as normal as a sale could potentially take a long time. We are currently still working with the Council to explore options for road building to help with the extraction of timber from Moss of Cree. The key priority here is public safety as we have to find a route which is as safe, or safer, than what is currently proposed. We are hoping to discuss these options with the local community group towards the end of the month.”