South Scotland

Mabie and Ae forest killer tree disease fight renewed

Mabie forest Image copyright Forest Enterprise Scotland

Renewed felling operations at two south of Scotland forests hope to minimise and slow down the spread of a killer tree disease.

The action will remove larch trees infected with Phytophthora ramorum as well as some unaffected by the disease.

There will be temporary diversions and closures at Mabie and Ae forests as a result.

Work is expected to start in the next few weeks and is likely to run until the end of February.

Public information notices, details of works and trail closures will be regularly updated and posted on site.

Sallie Bailey, Forest Enterprise Scotland's district manager in Dumfries and Borders forest district, said she was aware it caused inconvenience to visitors but it was important to undertake the work as soon as possible.

'Positive message'

"The felling is legally required to help minimise and slow down the spread of the disease," she said.

"We will carry it out as quickly as possible and ensure the public are kept updated on any diversions or closures of trails

"Although the felling will have a visual impact on the landscape, there is a positive message too.

"The felling will give us the opportunity to improve the overall design of the forest and make it more resilient for future years."

She added that the affected areas would also be replanted as soon as possible.

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