Community Woodland Larch Removal News

SPHN – Larch Removal, update Thursday 7th April 2022

Zone 5, our last zone, has been the focus both for hand-felling (guys with chainsaws) and the harvester felling and processing into logs this week.  The harvester will be working on Saturday and possibly Sunday too to complete this final felling zone. For the final three days of felling please continue to avoid Zone 5 where the harvester is working and respect safety signs.

All felling of larch trees in the SPHN area will be completed by Monday 11th April.

The forwarder will continue to remove logs from across the felled area (Zones 1 to 5), to the stacking area for haulage offsite, throughout April.  We will continue to update weekly until the full operations are complete.

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.

The current estimate for the forwarder to leave site is week commencing 5th May.

 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. Thankfully we are nearing the end of the felling. Once the harvester leaves site we will be reviewing next steps of path clearance and how we manage the brash as a result of the felling.  This will be a focus during our next woodland volunteer day on Saturday 30th April and we’ll share more information in the coming weeks too.  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

Many thanks to our volunteers who have continued to fill our 10 squirrel feeders and the red squirrels are definitely using them.  Melissa has kindly shared some photos with us and has really enjoyed taking local families up to the boxes to help.


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.  They will not be felled as part of this contract with RTS but our Tree Health Officer has imposed a deadline for these of 31st August 2022.

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

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

 A further update on these operations will be provided next Thursday 14th April.