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Tree Felling next to Cockleroy Car Park, Beecraigs Country Park
The woodland at Beecraigs Country Park is carefully managed by the council to provide a fantastic resource for local residents to enjoy our stunning natural environment. We balance the needs of retaining woodland areas to provide shelter for visitors and wildlife alike and, at the same time, ensuring that the woodland is regenerated for visitors to enjoy in the future.
A long-term forest plan was approved in 2013 by both the council and the Forestry Commission Scotland. This includes the plans for the gradual regeneration of the forest, such as tree felling, thinning and replanting as required, especially in areas where high winds have affected trees. Any income generated by tree felling is put back into replanting, path upgrading and drainage improvements at Beecraigs and in other woods.
The majority of the area of Sitka spruce which has been felled at Cockleroy is owned by the neighbouring farmer. A smaller number of trees have been felled on an adjacent area of council-owned land after both were affected by wind. The area of Scots pine on the top of the hill has largely been retained, and it is our intention to replant the felled area on council land with Silver birch, Oak and Scots pine.
Many local residents are well aware that Beecraigs is a managed woodland, and we take steps to ensure they are kept informed of any work that is ongoing. Prior to each phase of felling and replanting / thinning work, temporary noticeboards explaining the woodland operations were put up at appropriate locations around the country park and information placed on the council website and social media channels.
The timber produced from Beecraigs is Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and the woodland management is independently audited under the UK Woodland Assurance Scheme (UKWAS). This includes ensuring that woodland management takes due cognisance of biodiversity, for example special care taken to protect badgers setts during the most recent work. Our management has been audited as part of a group scheme by forest ecologists who have praised the varied habitats and forest management which continues to enhance these.
All the areas which were felled in previous years have been replanted, with a number of tree planting events giving young people and the wider public the opportunity to contribute to Beecraigs' new sustainable woodland for future generations.