A MORE up-to-date report has been requested on the current state of a Lockerbie woodland earmarked for felling.
Members of the Lockerbie Common Good sub committee this week asked council officials for fresh information on the plantation in Corrie Road, before they agree to cut down 212 ‘unsafe’ trees there.
Annandale North councillor Stephen Thompson pointed out the information supplied for Tuesday night’s meeting actually dated from 2020.
He said: “There’s a bit of a time lag. Can we get an updated report with the position as to where things are now and what that’s like in terms of risk.”
Agreeing to that, community assets manager Nicola Simpson also explained the situation in more depth.
She said: “This report was done at the back end of 2020 so is four years old now. Some trees were felled immediately and hanging branches removed.
“Since then several other trees have fallen down following storms, mostly to the rear of the site.
“Some trees had ash dieback which will only have advanced, or stayed the same, it won’t have got better.
“The reason why we wanted to look at felling this is it’s trees on the outside that have been coming down. Once they are gone the ones next in line are susceptible to the elements and become weak. It was felt it would be a continual issuewith continual weakness and risk to pedestrians walking through the site. So, that’s why we came up with this idea of clear felling it.”
But acknowledging the concerns locally about the proposed felling, she added: “A lot of concern has been expressed so it’s potentially a good idea to refresh that report and come back to the next committee to advise members.”
Commenting on the situation, Annandale North councillor Gail Macgregor said at the meeting: “I’m all for protecting natural habitats and woodland but if there’s a risk to individuals that’s of greater concern to me.
“It’s on the edge of the town, where kids can get to it quite easily and I would have a concern.”
While more information is gathered, Cllr Macgregor requested that warning signs are put up in the woodland to let people know about the potential dangers there.
She also asked that any future replanting is done with native species.
Meanwhile, it was agreed that the cost of the updated survey will be covered by common good funds. Nicola Simpson advised it will be in the range of £750-1000.
The 2020 report by experts recommended the whole area is felled and cleared.
This was echoed by a further assessment last year, which found many unstable trees.
The felling is anticipated to cost approximately £20,000 but will be funded by selling off the chopped wood.