Drynachan Forest Roadside Rhododendron clearance

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30 JUNE 2014NEWS RELEASE No: 16299

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Forestry Commission Scotland is advising road users and local residents of traffic management that will be in place on the A82 just north of Invergarry for one week from 7th of July.

The move comes as the Commission’s team in the area tackles roadside rhododendron in Drynachan Forest as part of a massive 15-year programme to clear rhododendron from the national forest estate.

“We started clearance work in the forest in April and have so far freed an area equivalent to 112 international rugby pitches from the smothering blanket of rhododendron.

“Just as we did at Creag Liath forest last year, we left a strip of rhododendron along the side of the road because clearing it as we worked our way through the forest would have been too disruptive to traffic. Now we’ve only got that roadside rhododendron to clear, so to keep everyone safe over the week that we’ll be doing it, we’re putting traffic management in place.

“The traffic control zone, which will be approx 400metres long, will move as work progresses so that the clearance crew and road control can respond quickly to any traffic build-up or to on duty emergency vehicles. We hope to avoid any disruption as much as possible but apologise in advance for any inconvenience.”

At any time the alternative route via Bunloyne will always be available.

During the one week operation, two clearance crews will be cutting and clearing Rhododendron and minor scrub from the verges. Once the work is completed, the Commission’s local team will have cleared a total of 275 hectares of mature rhododendron bushes, seedlings and young plantations.

Much of the 300 – 400 tonnes of material cleared from the roadside (10% of the total from the site) will be chipped and blown back into the forest.

So far the Commission’s team has freed interesting specimens of Monkey puzzle and Sequoia (giant redwood)….but nothing as spectacular as recovering the stolen safe last year.

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. Combined with the work done at Invergarry last year this will mean that around 750 hectares of national forest estate land around Invergarry will be rhodo free.

4. After being cut back stems are treated to kill off the root systems and prevent re-growth. As well as using stem injection techniques, the team working the Invergarry site is trialling a new system where dray capsules are hammered into the stems where they slowly release a chemical into the root. Potentially more environmentally friendly than water borne treatments, this treatment is also potentially much easier to use on steep sites.

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. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

6. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Officer, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590

e-mail: paul.munro@forestry.gsi.gov.uk