Community Woodland Larch Removal News

SPHN – Larch Removal, update Thursday 10th March 2022

Work to fell and remove the larch is now thankfully progressing at pace.

RTS (the contractor) have brought on additional felling resources by way of chainsaw operators to speed up the felling operations. The weather has been fairly kind which helps a lot.

Felling in Zone 2 is anticipated to be complete by this coming Monday afternoon. Felling will then move immediately into Zone 3.

The forwarder will continue clearing Zones 1 and then move into Zone 2.

Please Note: The harvester will be working in the woods (Zone 2) this Saturday, 12th March

The path between Gillies Hill sheds and the walled garden remains closed to the public as is the open area next to the Walled Garden which is being used to stack the logs prior to transportation off site.

Please avoid the zone where the harvester and chainsaw operators are working. Paths in the zone will be closed off. Please follow all guidance and banksmen instructions to ensure your safety. Please keep a safe distance from the forwarder while it is loading and moving about the woodland.


It is recognised that access into the area of the woodland not subject to the SPHN is extremely difficult. RTS has been asked to clear a pedestrian path from near the Gillies Hill Entrance across Zone 1 into the non-SPHN area (Green line in above map). RTS has yet to advise when this can be achieved. An update will be posted as soon as this is available.

Your cooperation and tolerance while the felling and forwarding progresses is appreciated. Hopefully access across the woodland will be restored within the next few weeks.

As you are aware the weather conspired against the felling operation for most of January and February and as such the SPHN target of completing the felling by the end of February could not be achieved.  Scottish Forestry, who regulate SPHNs, are fully aware of the reasons for the delay and are supportive of the effort being undertaken to complete felling as soon as practical.

A further update will be provided next Thursday 17th March.

For background information about why the larch is to be removed in this area, the Scottish Plant Health Notice, SPHN and outline plans, please visit previous updates from this page:    SPHN – Larch Removal

Measures to Protect the Squirrel Population

Measures undertaken to protect the squirrels are outlined in the blog on the CCDT website of 6th January:    Squirrel Dreys & Bird Boxes Blog

10 ten squirrel feed boxes have been installed by volunteers to the south of the felling area.  See    Squirrel Feeder Boxes in the Woodland

One of the boxes that was located near the “mud kitchen” (Nr 7) has been moved to the middle of the tennis court (picnic benches) for easier access for filling.

The volunteers continue to do a fantastic job keeping the boxes filled with the squirrel feed. Particularly as the journey to get to them is now quite circuitous. The feeders will continue to be topped up until at least the completion of the felling operation.

Do send any pictures you manage to take of a red squirrel at the feeders to the email address below.

If you have any queries, comments or concerns or about the work being carried out, please email

Blog written by Jim O’Connor