Wipe your feet before entering Falkirk woodland!

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Visitors to Callendar Woods are being urged to ‘keep it clean’ and help stop the spread of a disease affecting larch trees in the woodland.

Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) is asking for help as it aims to control the spread of Phytophthora Ramorum.

To help prevent the spread of the disease, users are being asked to follow the ‘Keep it Clean’ guidelines and wash footwear, bikes, kit and dogs paws before and after visiting the site.

FES will also carry out necessary felling works on the affected trees, including those within a 250m buffer zone, which will reduce the risk of the disease spreading to other trees in the area.

A number of sweet chestnut trees will also be removed following a Statutory Plant Health Notice requesting that all infected trees and those within the buffer zone around the infected area be removed.

The works will begin in the New Year and are expected to last between eight to ten weeks with an additional six to eight weeks to remove the timber from the site. During this time, there will be temporary path closures to ensure public safety, but diversion routes will be provided and clearly sign posted.

Alistair Whyte, community and visitor services forester, Forest Enterprise Scotland, said: “We realise the works will cause some disruption to our regular users, but the removal of the infected trees and buffer zone is essential to ensure a safe and healthy woodland. We’re asking everyone who uses the woodlands to help reduce the spread of the disease by washing their shoots, boots, tyres and pets before visiting Callendar Woods and before going on to visit any other woodland site.”

Following the works, FES will gradually restore Callendar Wood to a broadleaf woodland and replant native broadleaf trees soon after the felling is completed. FES will continue to keep the public informed of the works, but for more information on ‘Keep it Clean’, please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/keepitclean.