A NATIONAL Trust ranger has pleaded with the public to follow forestry signage and not put themselves in harm's way on an active site. 

The appeal comes after individuals were found to have flouted warning signs on Northern Ireland's Mount Stewart estate - including several children who approached a working harvester. 

Posting on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, Ranger Toby explained that the Forest Service had closed off several trails to carry out essential work, but this hadn't stopped locals wandering along them. 

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The National Trust ranger said: "Almost a month and a half ago, we got notice from the Forest Service that they would be carrying out harvesting works and this would lead to trail closures. 

"A lot of you have been asking why - surely they are just felling a few trees? 

"I am about 200 metres away from the machine, it's big and it is bringing birch trees down very quickly. 

"What is really worrying is that a lot of people have been ignoring the mandatory signage that we have to put out - for your safety and our operators' safety. 

"I have one request. Please, please follow the industry-standard signage that is out. They are closed for a reason.

"It's not just for your safety, it's for our operators, too. The last thing one of our operators wants to have deal with someone under a beech tree.

"I have to be serious about this because we have had some worrying things happen on the estate in recent weeks." 

As we have previously reported, Scottish forestry chiefs detailed an increase in members flouting warning signs on active sites. However, while Northern Ireland's Forest Service hadn't seen a marked rise, the situation in Mount Stewart has been problematic. 

Taking to X shortly after posting the video, Ranger Toby added: "It's unreal how stupid and entitled some people can be.

"Only last week three mums and six kids rocked on up to a working harvester!!!" 

Forestry Journal has contacted the Forest Service for comment.