RESIDENTS are being invited to drop-in sessions to find out more about plans to harvest 125,000 tonnes of timber from a hillside forest next to Loch Lomond.

Part of the ongoing work in the Ben Lomond Memorial Landscape, the long-term proposals for the site - outlined in The Ptarmigan Land Management Plan - include the removal of productive conifer and the retention (and regeneration) of native woodland.  

Simon Turner, planning forester for Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), which is leading the work, said: “Set in the heart of the National Park, Ptarmigan Forest is part of the iconic view of Loch Lomond and has the West Highland Way running through it.

READ MORE: Kirkhill Forest: Warning as felling work set to begin in Aberdeenshire forest

“However, the trees have reached an age and a size where they are at increased risk of being blown over in high winds.

“The fact that the site has very steep slopes - with some potential landslip areas - and is surrounded by sensitive designated environmental sites, means that a storm event could have severe negative impacts on the environment, on habitats and on accessibility.

“It would also result in an extremely dangerous problem for our harvesting teams, who would have to clear the site.

“A better approach, given the complexity and difficulty of the site, is to fell these trees in a controlled programme. We have developed plans for how we could do this and are now looking to get some feedback on our proposals.”

FLS staff will be on hand to discuss the plan at three drop-in events at: Three Villages Hall, Shore Road, Arrochar, G83 7AB tomorrow (12 pm to 3 pm) and Friday, May 20, (4 pm to 7 pm); Balmaha Visitor Centre, Balmaha, G63 0JQ on Saturday, May 21, (12 pm to 4 pm).  

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At the information sessions, FLS will also present visualisation of the upcoming strategic felling of larch at Cruach Tairbeirt, which is required to help slow the further spread of the tree disease Phytophthora Ramorum across the Cowal area. 

Anyone looking for more information can contact

The consultation will run until Monday, June 13.