Community Woodland Larch Removal News

SPHN – Larch Removal, update Thursday 24th March 2022

The good weather has allowed the felling to continue at pace.

The harvester has been felling larch in Zone 4 and is expected to finish in this zone on Tuesday of next week.

Hand-cutters (guys with chainsaws) have moved into the last area, Zone 5, in the last couple of days. They will continue hand felling in zone 5 next week. The harvester will move in Zone 5 after finishing in Zone 4 to cut up the logs hand-felled into lengths suitable for the forwarder.

It is anticipated that all felling and cutting of the larch trees in the SPHN area will be completed by the end of next week, 1st April.

The forwarder will continue to remove logs from across the felled area (Zones 1 to 5) next week. The forwarding operation is expected to continue at least until the end of April. Please note that the forwarder moves through the zones collecting same size category (roughly same diameter) of logs to allow effective and safe stacking. This gives the appearance that logs are ‘left’ rather than each area fully cleared. 

There appears to be a shortage of timber haulage lorries, probably due to the large amount of windfall trees across Scotland over the winter. This does effect the amount of timber that can be forwarded to the stacking area. RTS have given assurances, and it is in their interests, that they are making every effort to source additional timber haulage vehicles to speed up the process of removing the logs off site.

Please continue to respect the safety signs erected by RTS. These signs are put there for the SAFETY of the public and ALL users of the woodland. Please don’t interfere with the signs and barriers. Your cooperation on this matter is appreciated.

RTS have now installed a crossing to allow access from Gillies Hill into the non SPHN area of the woodland. The map below shows the route from Gillies Hill to the Walled Garden and up towards the Daffy Valley.

Please avoid the zones 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. Do not interfere with the barriers and signs. These are for everyone’s safety.



A further update will be provided next Thursday 31st March.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and tolerance while the felling and forwarding progresses. Thankfully we are nearing the end of the felling. The forwarding operation will take a while longer but hopefully we can start opening up areas of the woodland again.

You may have seen a BBC article on the problems larch infection is causing across Scotland. We will not be alone among community woodlands that have larch:

 Tree diseases fuel change in Scottish forest planting – BBC News

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

The 10 Squirrel feeders continue to be filled by volunteers …. And the red squirrels are definitely using them. 

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

Blog written by Jim O’Connor