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Forestry Commission Scotland has united with processors in Galloway to tackle head-on the impact of the P Ramorum outbreak across the area.
The Commission has been hard at work since August to implement its response to P ramorum, which affects as much as 5,000ha of larch, in a bid to slow down its spread – and to harvest as much marketable timber as possible.
The Commission’s two year harvesting strategy – which involves felling infected trees within the designated “red zone” - aims to bring approximately 380,000tonnes of larch per year to market from across southern Scotland – predominantly from Galloway Forest District.
Mike Green, Harvesting & Marketing Officer with Forest Enterprise Scotland, said:
"We are working flat out on responding to this and working closely with our existing customer base we have secured the necessary resource to have fifteen operational harvesting teams working on larch across Galloway.
“We have also secured market outlets for this additional material but we are acutely aware that in what is predominantly a whitewood processing and marketing zone, the extent and speed by which the market for redwood can be developed is challenging.
“We are always looking to do everything we can to help protect recent gains in the domestic sawn timber market.”
A significant amount of work has been carried out across Scotland to adjust felling programmes in other Districts to help minimise any negative market impact of the Galloway effort.
Although half of the annual P ramorum volume will be additional to the original planned volume, half (235,000 m3obs) will be substitution felling. The strategy aims to market 60% of felled larch via existing long-term contract holders, with the balance marketed by expression of interest / open market sales.
“We greatly appreciate the effort that is being made across the sector to manage this unparalleled situation - the processing sector has made considerable adjustments to cope with this influx larch. We are aware that there is also a high demand for spruce in the area, and we aim to sustain the level of supply at an acceptable level.”
More information, including biosecurity guidance, can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorumscotland
Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland.
2. For news, events and recreation information log on to
www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests For Twitter: www.twitter.com/fcscotlandnews
3. The disease poses no threat to human or animal health.
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