As landowners and custodians of Gillies Hill Community Woodland, our priority is to ensure that the woodland is a safe and enjoyable environment for all users. However, almost no significant intervention has been undertaken to the woods in many decades prior to our involvement. As a result, there are some areas of woodland where tree hazards exist in areas accessed regularly by the community.
In December 2023, we commissioned a detailed tree safety survey and report to be undertaken by an independent specialist woodland consultant, to develop an understanding of key tree safety hazards and remedial work required to make them safe. The survey focussed on trees beside the main paths and most heavily used areas of the woodland. This is a follow-up to the Tree Safety Plan we put in place in 2023 and tree safety work we already carry out with our own volunteers and contractors.
As expected, the report identified a number of trees (or their branches) needing work. They are scattered across the woodland and have been tagged with a number so that we can easily find them.
In the coming weeks and months we will be carrying out the remedial work, in line with surveyor’s recommended priorities. Some has been completed already in early January. The work may involve branch trimming, dead branch removal and in some cases felling and cutting the timber into a small pile at the site. Options for removal of larger piles of timber will also be looked at where possible.
In the recent windy weather, at least one of the trees has collapsed in the Dark Woods and elsewhere tree and branches have fallen or have been damaged by the winds.
There will be local signage to warn woodland users when work is being carried out in a certain area and contractors and volunteers involved in the work will be alert to woodland users
The woodland is a living thing and always changing, and tree and branches can be damaged by wind or wet weather at any time, especially if they are already dying or damaged. Take care when walking biking trekking or running up there and feel free to report anything new or of concern to Woodland@ccdt.org.uk