Temporary trail closure at Newcastleton forest25 September 2018 | By billy1979
Forest Enterprise Scotland is alerting mountain bikers that the popular 7stanes red route at Newcastleton forest will be closed whilst urgent tree felling starts next week.
The blue biking route will remain open as with all the other walking trails found in the forest.
The felling is required to remove larch trees infected by Phytophthera Ramorum, a disease which is affecting the region and many parts of Scotland.
The removal of infected trees, and those surrounding them, helps to minimise and slow down the spread of the disease.
P Ramorum has been in Scotland for many years with outbreaks already confirmed in the Borders before 2015. Two new cases were recently found in Traquair forest in the last few weeks.
Katie Jarvis, recreation manager for Forest Enterprise Scotland said:
“Trees affected by P Ramorum are very unlikely to survive and will die over the coming months or years. We need to remove the trees and those surrounding them to try and limit the disease spreading quickly.
“I expect the 7Stanes red cross country route to be closed for around two months whilst felling is in operation but I am glad to say the blue route is unaffected.
“The red route will be closed for safety reasons due to all the felling taking place and we will ensure there is plenty of signage to make that clear. I would urge all visitors to take heed of the signs as a felling site is not a safe place for the public to be.”
Forest Enterprise Scotland operates a ‘Keep it Clean’ biosecurity campaign which asks bikers, walkers and horse riders in the Borders to clean their bikes, gear, dogs’ paws and horses’ hooves before they enter a forest.
“We should be prepared for more cases of P Ramorum to occur in the Borders.
“It is a tree disease that has been here for a few years and is expected to continue spreading. At the moment, our best defence is to continue felling to slow the rate of its spread. We will be replanting the felled areas in time but using different species of tree.”
Felling at Traquair forest, at Innerleithen, to tackle P Ramorum has already started, resulting in trail diversions to the red cross-country route. The Downhill trails at Traquair are not affected.