OFFICIALS are trialling new measure to prevent the public from walking onto live forestry sites.

The use of cameras, alarms and banksmen are among the means being tested during work to clear up Storm Arwen damage in Kirkhill Forest, near Aberdeen. 

Forestry bosses have partnered with the police and DeterTech for the six-week operation, which will also assess the equipment’s capacity to improve security against theft and vandalism. 

Coming amid a rise in members of the public ignoring safety signage, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) chiefs hope the measures will help protect both woodland visitors and operators. 

READ MORE: Fears someone 'could be killed' as public ignores forestry signage

Fiona Robertson, area visitor services manager, said: “Some people ignore signage because they may think they know better, but our operational sites can change day-to-day with new hazards in different places. Some people don’t see signage – maybe because their attention is on other things or the signage has been vandalised.  

“We want to do as much as we can to support and protect our workers and eliminate as much risk to visitors as possible by guiding them away from a dangerous area. To support that, we are trialling this new public safety and security system."

Chief Inspector Simon Reid, lead for rural crime, North East Division, said: “The theft of fuel and forestry equipment are key priorities for the North East Partnership Against Rural Crime and by using innovative technologies we aim to disrupt those criminals that see the rural environment as an easy target to profit through illegal behaviour.”

Forestry Journal: DeterTech's system will be used in Kirkhill DeterTech's system will be used in Kirkhill (Image: Supplied)

The equipment, which also alerts the machine operators on site when someone has entered the restricted area and where they have entered, will only be in operation when the harvesting team is on site and clearing timber. Outwith these times no warning will be issued and visitors will be able to cross the site safely.

Luke Staton, DeterTech’s UK managing director, said: “Visually verified CCTV technology and audible warnings mean we can instantly pre-empt most issues by alerting people before they enter a dangerous zone."