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Forestry Commission Scotland is inviting local residents, visitors and tourists to take time out to visit two of the best kept secrets in Caithness.
Sibster Forest and Newton Hill Croft are two of the Commission’s sites in north highland that offer great opportunities for rest and recreation. Both sites have been panted with native broadleaf species - like alder, ash, hazel, beech, birch oak and rowan - as well as Scots pine.
Stephen Fraser, for the Commission’s team in North Highland, said:
“These are places where anyone can come and enjoy the new trails - great for a walking, running and cycling – or just sit and de-stress in relaxing and peaceful surroundings.
“There are also plenty of opportunities for some wildlife spotting and a wildflower meadow where, from June to August, you can be lulled by the steady drone of rare yellow bumblebees(3) .
“We’ve worked hard over the last year to get the facilities ready, especially at Sibster where our initial efforts were washed away by torrential rain! But the paths are all repaired and ready to go and our civil engineering colleagues have done a fantastic job with the new bridges along the route.
“They’re superb locations – and we reckon that anyone who gives them a try will come back time and time again.”
Sibster is a new Commission site 6 miles south of Thurso and just off the A9, next to the Georgemas Junction station. Around 350,000 native trees have been planted here and two great trails are on offer - a short half-hour walk (0.75 miles) with a longer 45 minute walk (1.1 miles) known as ‘the Bee Trail’ that can be added on.
The community woodland at Newtonhill Croft (1 mile south west of Wick) was opened in October 2011 and has already proved to be hugely popular recreation resource for local people.
Dog walkers are welcome – but are reminded to please clean up after their dog.
Notes to Editors
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate.
2) Forestry Commission Scotland has been working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to manage the meadow for the benefit of bumblebees.
3) For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests. For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotland
4) 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. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland