TRAIL restrictions are to be placed around Campbeltown's Beinn Ghuilean forest in the new year so that urgent tree felling can begin.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is to carry out the work in a bid to slow the spread of Phytophthora ramorum. The restrictions will be in place from January 2020.

It is anticipated that the felling operations will be carried out over several months and Phase 1 will be completed by April 2020. However, if the infection continues to spread it is likely that the felling area may be increased, FLS said.

Tommy McGrory, FLS  planning forester, commented: “We’ll begin work mid-December to prepare the site and make sure that trails within the work zone are closed and safety signage is in place but the main felling and extraction operations will start in January.

“We’re having to remove around 7,500 tonnes of timber from the forest and, presuming that we are not hampered by too much bad weather, it could take 4–6 months to complete.

“Public safety is always a high priority for us and that means putting access restrictions in place for Beinn Ghuilean forest.

“The worksite zone will be strictly a no-go area however the rest of the forest will still be accessible, but we would urge all visitors to observe and obey the safety signage in the forest.

“We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause but we hope that visitors will understand and appreciate the need for the closures.”