Thinning of Fife woodland aims to weed out disease

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1 MARCH 2013NEWS RELEASE No: 15868

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Forestry Commission Scotland will next week (Monday 4 March) begin thinning work in a Fife woodland in order to remove diseased trees and enhance local habitats.

The work at Ladybank will remove trees affected by Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB). The thinning operation aims to stop the disease from spreading but will also give remaining trees room to grow and encourage the existing eco-system to thrive.

Beat Forester Robin Lofthouse explained:

“These works are very important as the infected stands in Ladybank are looking very poor and if we get them thinned now we may be able to save the rest of the trees.

“Once the work is complete the stands will appear much more open and attractive to walk through. Ground vegetation will begin to grow as light levels will be greater so the woods will be come more diverse in terms of flora and fauna.”

Timber removed from the site will be put to use locally and taken to the new Tullis Russell bio fuel energy plant in Glenrothes. The Commission’s harvesting team will also be removing any windblown timber.

Work will start at Edens Muir and move around the site, with harvesters aiming to save as many trees as possible during the eight week project.

Although the site will remain open during the felling, visitors are urged to pay attention to safety signage and information about diversions where machinery is operating.

Notes for Editors

1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate

2. Dothistroma Needle Blight (DNB) also known as Red Band Needle Blight, is caused by a fungal spore and is found on a range of species of conifer tree. It results in defoliation, which gradually weakens infected trees and can eventually lead to tree mortality.

3. The works at Ladybank will be carried out on a rolling basis, starting at Edens Muir, before continuing onto (in order): Heatherhall north, Cairnfieldmuir, Triangle Wood, North Annsmuir and South Annsmuir. Grasvel Pit Wood and Heggies Muir Wood near Redlands Lodge.

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5. Tha FCS ag obair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridh coilltearachd Riaghaltas na h-Alba agus a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìonadh, a' cumail smachd air agus a' leudachadh nan coilltean gus buannachdan a thoirt dha coimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidh agus, ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh gnàth-shìde.