THERE is likely to be an increase in felling applications across Scotland to clear up the damage caused by Storm Arwen, a minister has been told

Scottish Forestry bosses believe "whole or multiple compartments of trees" may have blown over when high winds, with speeds of up to 100 mph, battered the country at the weekend. 

While at this point there is not enough credible information to instigate the Scottish Windblow Action Committee (SWAC), a surge in felling permission applications and long term forest plan/land management plan amendments are expected as land holders begin clearing up. 

Forestry Journal:

READ MORE: Storm Arwen: People warned to stay away from Scottish forests

It comes after the public was yesterday warned to stay away from forests until proper assessments could be carried out

With the worst of the damage believed to have affected the east, south and central regions of the country, Doug Howieson, head of Operational Delivery at Scottish Forestry, yesterday told Mairi McAllan, minister for Environment and Land Reform, satellite imagery and helicopter surveillance had been requested to provide a more detailed picture. 

Forestry Journal: Mairi McAllanMairi McAllan

Work began on Monday to clean up and assess forests with Forest and Land Scotland staff giving priority to tree work in locations that provide an immediate risk to people or property with the focus then shifting to providing essential access for communities, neighbours and forestry business.

It is hoped to gradually reopen trails and other facilities later this week.

A meeting will also be held on Thursday to discuss whether or not the windblow contingency plan will be put into effect.