Ben Lora Forest felling and replanting

Felling amendment, Benderloch, Barcaldine FDP
The accompanying Management Approval Map shows three coupes, 43628 approved under the original plan, 43255 approved by you on 02/12/2012 and 43039 which was intended to be included in the new LMP revision, but has now had to be brought forward due to access concerns. 43628 was felled in January 2013 and the lower part of 43255 in April 2013 to deal with windblow affecting the core path. Since then, it was agreed with the community that further felling would be undertaken during the winter months, but due to lack of winch resource, no further felling has taken place. An opportunity has now arisen to complete the approved site this winter, operations expected to commence in 3-4 weeks’ time. This will require closure of the core path/rerouting, plus further consultation with the community, including information regarding felling of 43039. The new LMP intended to propose felling of 43039 firstly because access to the lower parts must be taken off the forwarder access to 43255, which will become unserviceable once operations are complete. Secondly, the attached map extract (Map 4.6 Viewshed Analysis from Tralee) shows that skyline conifers will be visible in 43039 once 43255 is felled. Thirdly, windblow above Benderloch posing a risk to property and the A828 primarily through disturbing surface material and rocks was an important consideration in opting to fell 43255, whose removal may expose 43039 to increased risk of windblow. The landscape architect’s ‘Landscape Issues Map 4.5’ from the new LMP highlights the concerns. The original FDP phased the three coupes as follows; 43628 – 2014, 43039 – 2019, and 43255 – 2024. A combination of harvester and winch working is expected, with winching most likely required at the bottom of the coupe. It is unclear whether the contractor will require any digger work to gain access for the winch, but the topography of 43255 hides the lower part of 43039 in views from Tralee, whilst sightlines and native woodland screen this area from the south. ‘View 5 From Tralee’ shows that only 43255 is currently visible from the caravan park. View 4 From Connel Bridge shows the limited oblique views of 43039, with part of 43255 beyond.
The proposed future species rationale is to restock with native broadleaved species, with some edge modifications along the south side to remove trees form ‘extra land’ and to scallop this otherwise straight edge. This replaces the approved FDP rationale which included 3.4ha of mixed conifers in the upper part of the coupe.
Let me know if you require any further information.
Roger Wilson
Planning Forester
For FDM West Argyll FD
roger.wilson@forestry.gsi.gov.uk
+44 (0) 300 067 6650 (switchboard)
+44 (0) 300 067 6684 (direct)
+44 (0)7776171413 (mobile)
www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
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November 22, 2016   Posted in: Benderloch, Environment

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