We continued to haul timber through September and some larch and spruce have been despatched by boat. For various reasons, including the condition of the road, it was not possible to complete haulage of the roadside timber by the end of September, when the exemption permit from Argyll and Bute Council (A&BC) expired. A request has been made to A&BC to extend the haulage period into October.
Plant Health Notices (PHN)
In order to meet the requirements of the PHNs, Duffy’s, our forestry contractor, will begin felling of diseased larch on 2nd October. We are to receive a grant from the Forestry Commission that covers about 70% of the cost of this work. A recent Phytophthora survey of Mull by FCS has not found any further cases at Tiroran.
One of the requirements of the recent overweight vehicle exemption permit from A&BC was that SWMID carry out weekly road inspections. During September the road showed significant deterioration during a period when JST (our contracted hauliers) were not operating, but there was heavy usage by overweight construction and other vehicles. Road damage was reported to A&BC and hauling stopped while repairs were carried out.
Improvements have been made to the drainage around the bridge to stop the timber planks being continually saturated. The bridge needs to be inspected to ensure that it is safe and we are getting quotes for this work.
Two or three more of the noble firs on the land to the south of the Tiroran road appear to be dying. Work will be carried out in the near future to make them safe.
Weevil monitoring started at the beginning of September and is now complete. We are awaiting a detailed analysis, but initial indicators show a very high level of pine weevil activity.
Mull Eagle Watch
MEW trips finished on 19th September. A nest clear-out was carried out by RSPB on 28th September, where prey remains and nest condition were monitored. The results of this are to follow.
Bunessan school children learned three key lessons about safety in the forest:
- Don’t climb on or play around, timber stacks;
- Obey notices and avoid areas where forestry work is taking place;
- Don’t visit the forest in high winds and rain.
Targa Car Rally
We are pleased to be able to support the alternative Mull Rally this year. An off-road event is taking place at the forest on the afternoon of Friday 13th October.