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Cumbernauld's Low Wood is felled out of safety concerns

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 17:56 GMT on Thursday 14th March, 2013.
Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

CUMBERNAULD Media can reveal that the Low Wood felling is not related to housing but simply for safety reasons.

Last week, Cumbernauld Media broke the story of how the town’s Low Wood, adjacent to the Black O’Hill roundabout, on the B8048, was being felled over the past few weeks. 

Questions were quickly asked about why the area was being torn down – with new homes suggested, after Barratt Scotland declared Cumbernauld as future housing development location.

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

Now, however, Cumbernauld Media can reveal that the woods have been felled for safety reasons. 

A spokeswoman for North Lanarkshire Council told Cumbernauld Media: “The woodland at Low Wood is owned by North Lanarkshire Council.”
 
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Cumbernauld Media can also reveal that the felling is part of a project to remove the conifers from the woodland which blow over in heavy winds, as part of a grant by the Scottish Rural Development Programme.

“The conifers are being felled as part of a grant funded Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) scheme.  The aim is to remove the conifers from the woodland as they are continuing to fall over in the high winds,” the spokeswoman added.

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

The spokeswoman added:  “This was once an open oak woodland which was underplanted with conifers about fifty years ago. The oaks are dying in the shade of these conifers and are being damaged as the conifers collapse.” 

Concerns have been raised, however, over the future of the natural environment where the Low Wood was located. Cumbernauld Media has learned that the council will allow for the natural improvement of the scarred land, with a contingency plan, aimed at replanting trees in a number of years with the land doesn’t naturally recover.

“We intend to clear the conifers so that most of the oaks can recover and naturally regenerate the site,” the spokeswoman added.  “If after 5 years the woodland is not recovering to a satisfactory level there is a contingency to plant the site up with native broadwood trees.”

Picture is copyright of Bill Henry and is used on his courtesy.

The council’s replanting contingency is part of the Scottish Government’s plans to reinvigorate plantations on ancient woodland sites, Cumbernauld Media has learned.

The spokeswoman added: “The council was awarded a maximum of £25,000 of SRDP funding over five years, dependent on results. This is in line with government policy to restore plantations on ancient woodland sites. 

“Most of the money will be used to restore an ancient, semi-natural broadleaf woodland site through planting and natural regeneration. The work will also include deer fencing to protect the young trees, and removal of rhododendron and waste branch wood.”

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