Community Woodland Larch Removal News

SPHN – Larch Removal, update Thursday 3rd March 2022

The weather has thankfully improved enough to make progress. The forecast for the coming week appears to be favourable.

The access route from the stacking area near the Walled Garden into Zone 1, including the burn crossing, was complete early this week. The harvester has therefore moved back into the felling area and will have finished clearing most trees from Zone by tomorrow, Friday 4th March. There are some large larch in the West of Zone 1 that will be felled by hand early next week.

The harvester will move into Zone 2 tomorrow. It is anticipate Zone 2 will be cleared of larch by the end of next week or early the following week.

Please Note: The harvester will be working in the woods (Zone 2) this Saturday, 5th March

The forwarder has transported some logs from Zone 1 to the stacking area, though due to recent rain had stopped to minimise churning up the access road. The forwarder will start again in Zone 1 this Monday.

RTS will reset the barriers and signs before the harvester moves into new zones.

Please keep an eye on the signs at the entrances to the woods to check which Zone is being worked in.

As a reminder, the path between Gillies Hill sheds and the walled garden has been closed to the public. The open area next to the Walled Garden has also been closed off to the public as it will be used to stack logs prior to transportation off site.

It is appreciated that access is becoming more difficult as the felling area is extended and the harvester is working to clear the felled logs. This situation will persist for the next three to four weeks after which access will start to return to some sort of normality.

A further update will be provided next Thursday 10th March.

Once operations recommence in the woodland:
Please avoid the zone where the harvester is operating. 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.


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 felling zones have been rearranged and the order of felling changed to give the squirrels an easier route away from any felling.

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

The volunteers have done a great job in keeping the boxes filled with the special red squirrel feed. The squirrels have certainly found all 10 and are making very good use of the new on-site bistros. The feeders will 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