Community Woodland Larch Removal News

SPHN – Larch Removal, update Thursday 28th April 2022

The forwarder is now working to remove logs from across the felled area (Zones 1 to 5), to the stacking area for haulage offsite.  This week Zone 4 has been completed, Zone 5 nearly complete and then 3 is the next one to be worked through.  

Due to delays in haulage, there were a few days last week when the forwarder was not able to work as the stacking area was at capacity.

Our contractor RTS is hopeful that all the logs will be collected and the forwarder offsite by the end of May.  A firm deadline can’t be given as this is dependent on the availability of timber trucks to haul logs away.  This week has seen the haulage progressing in earnest as 12 loads have been uplifted so far.  RTS have assured us they are as keen to complete the work as soon as possible as the forwarder is needed for their next job. 
Forwarder has a 20m safe zone when loading, unloading and when travelling.

Signs are in place for everyone’s safety – please do not interfere with any barriers or signs.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and tolerance while the felling and forwarding progresses.  The forwarder will only be removing logs, which means that there will be plenty of ‘brash’ (branches and twigs) left behind.  Some of this has been laid over existing paths in order to protect the ground.  As each zone is cleared of logs we will be looking at the best way to clear brash from paths to allow access.  Some of this may be able to be done with machinery, whilst some will need to be done by hand.  

This will be a focus during our next woodland volunteer day this Saturday 30th April which you can read more about here.  

Other than a safety clearance area around the forwarder we hope to open up as much of the woodland again as possible over the coming weeks.  
The crossing remains which allows 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.

For all the background information about why the larch is to be removed in this area please visit previous updates from this page:    SPHN – Larch Removal

Protecting our Squirrel Population

The larch trees marked ‘drey’ will not be felled until after the breeding season so we aim to ensure they aren’t in use and no squirrel or their kits come to harm.  Our Tree Health Officer has imposed a deadline for these of 31st August 2022.  No heavy machinery will be brought back on site for this, they’ll be felled by hand and we’re discussing how some can be made into benches/seats, rather than being extracted. 

Consultation & Communication

As Trustees and volunteers, we are working for the benefit of the community woodland and are keen for progress of projects to be driven by the community.  If anyone wishes to take an active role in the restocking and reinstating paths planning, please do get in touch.  We are happy to answer any questions which are asked and keen to take onboard views of the community through our consultation sessions.  Please email any queries to

Come and chat to our Trustees this Saturday at the volunteer day or join us on the evening of Wednesday 18th May at the Community Centre for our next consultation evening.  

A further update on these operations will be provided on Thursday 12th May.

Blog written by Jennifer Fraser