Pathways on Arran are to be closed in the coming weeks to remove diseased ash trees.
Forestry and Land Scotland’s Arran-based team has advised that short periods of closure will affect the Glenashdale Falls path this winter as diseased Ash trees are to be felled and removed from the site.
Many Ash trees along this route have been affected by Chalara and are dying. Felling the trees will help inhibit the further spread of the disease and will help prevent dead branches falling on to the path.
Andy Walker, for the FLS team on Arran, said: ‘As well as dealing with this hugely damaging tree disease the felling work will help ensure that visitors stay safe.
‘Both the disease and the felling are going to have a major impact on the environment of this area but the safety of visitors to the forest is extremely important.
‘Before we begin any work we will inspect the trees for the likelihood of presence of bats and any trees that might be used as roosts will be left until the spring when a bat survey can be carried out.
‘The path will be closed for short spells during operations and we would urge anyone using the path to please obey any signage on site.’
Chalara first appeared in the wider environment in Britain in 2012 and immediate action was taken to determine the extent of its range, and to prevent imports of ash seeds, plants and trees as well as movement of Ash within the UK. Despite this, ash trees across the country were devastated by the disease.
Andy added: ‘Tree pests and diseases can dramatically affect the health of trees, upset the delicate ecosystem balance and devastate large areas of woodland.
‘We’re doing everything we can to tackle these challenges, but pests and diseases hitch a ride in mud and debris on shoes, paws and tyres, ending up in new forests, so we need your help, too.
‘Just think Keep it Clean and take a moment before you visit to brush off any visible dirt or wash your shoes, bike, any toys or equipment and maybe even your dog too.’
The local FLS team has also advised that the footbridge at Glencloy is to be removed in the near future because of its very poor condition. The bridge is not on a designated path but the team apologises for any inconvenience that this might cause.