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Trees to get the chop at Crook Wood on the edge of Nairn – they will be partially clear-felled and thinned by Forestry Scotland

By Donald Wilson

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Nairn River CC's sign advising the public of the felling plans at Crook Wood.
Nairn River CC's sign advising the public of the felling plans at Crook Wood.

Areas of a wood on the edge of Nairn which is popular with ramblers, dog walkers and trail runners are to be partially clear-felled and thinned by Forestry Scotland.

Work is set to start this month, after the government agency responsible for managing woodlands lodged an application to carry out timber extraction at the Crook Wood located between the Grantown Road and Crook Road.

Comments from the public are being invited by Nairn River Community Council chairman Hamish Bain. He said its members were unable to adopt a position until its next meeting and by then it would be too late.

“Forestry Scotland launched the consultation after our last meeting and it closes before our next meeting,” he said. “It seems that it is becoming common for bodies to hold these short-term consultations which makes it difficult for any community council to react to them and keep their communities informed.”

He has secured permission to place posters in the vicinity to advise woodland users to comment on the plan.

“This has become a community woodland and during the Covid outbreak has been a vital area for health and wellbeing,” Mr Bain added. “This has to be taken into consideration.”

The project is both clear-fell and thinning of the woodland.

In total it is proposed to fell a total of 8400 trees including Scots pine and Sitka spruce over a period of one year from November 15 – four days after the consultation period ends.

Forestry Scotland, in their application to fell, state the trees are approximately 70 years old.

Forestry Scotland state the Crook Wood has not been managed for 20 years since the last thinning.

“The plan is to break up the age structure by taking the opportunity to fell an area of the wood and continue to thin the remaining woodland with a view to further felling and thinning in five years,” it stated.

It added: “This should allow a more structurally diverse woodland for the future.”

• Email comments to highland.cons@forestry.gov.scot

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