Logging at Laggan Wood and Effects on the Community

I want to personally thank Felicity Martin for attending a meeting with the Forestry Commission regarding the removal of wood from Laggan Wood, discussing how it will effect the village and giving input regarding signage.

Please find her report on the meeting……..

Ken Heiser and I went to this meeting. We were the only members of the community there (although several people had told me they would have gone if they’d had more notice and been free). We were outnumbered by Forestry Commission staff – four of them and also Richard Armstrong, our local P&K Ranger.

We spent almost two and half hours taking a walk up to the area to be felled and back down the right of way over neighbouring Broom Hill. We were able to talk about a lot of issues that have been problems in the past and that we’d like to avoid this time, and to point out more places where signage will be needed on top of places on their map (attached).

They expect to start operations in about three weeks time and assure us that the work will be done by trustworthy contractors. The felling will take two to three months, but it will be about six months before all the timber is extracted. They will be stacking timber beside the Balmuick access road between Happy Valley (the graveyard) and the top of the wood. They will remove vegetation and scrape back soil to create a 12m-wide extraction track along the top edge of the wood to avoid running up and down the paths (though they will be crossing the top right of way). This extraction track will be filled back in afterwards. They will also remove wind blown trees adjacent to the areas they are working.

They have done wild life surveys and have found lots of red squirrel activity, including some historic dreys in adjacent stands of trees, and some signs of badgers using the area, but no setts. The harvesting contractors will be briefed to look out for dreys and setts. Not all the hatched area is being felled – towards the top below the path they will be leaving a more openly wooded knoll and larch trees that extend down the slope.

There will be path closures in the area from the start of work (covering at least all the area bounded by the red line on their map). During harvesting it will be possible to go up the steps above the Millennium footpath to the viewpoint, but the path will be closed a bit further on before the T-junction with the path where they are felling. This path, which runs uphill from the forest road will be closed, as will the right of way to the east of it that runs slightly higher and goes through the gate onto Broom Hill (yellow in the map). To do the Glen Lednock circular, walkers will have to detour eastwards onto the Balmuick access road.

Once the harvesting is complete and the extraction is continuing they may be able to give more access, although a forwarder will still be using the extraction track and timber lorries will be coming up from Milton. They also mentioned the need to fell a mature oak tree that is restricting access down at Milton (this is on private land).

To view the area concerned please click on this link: Laggan Wood