Forestry work at Croick

Apologies to any of you who are walking the road through Croick this summer. We have forestry operations underway and I’m afraid that means there will be occasional lorries on the road and piles of timber by the side. The above photograph gives you an indication.

We have two large forestry blocks, originally planted by the Forestry Commission on either side of the river in the middle of the estate. They were planted as commercial forestry in the 1950s, and certainly not for the visual or amenity value. They could be clear felled at this stage but we have decided instead to thin them and open up the forest so that the tree can continue to develop and the forest floor can benefit from ore light. This is a big programme of work which we shall complete in phases, probably over a four year period. The idea is to create something which sits more comfortably with the newer native Caledonian forest planting elsewhere on the estate.

Forestry work today cannot be carried out economically without some pretty sophisticated equipment. Shown above are the harvester, for felling and logging, and the forwarder, for taking the logs to the roadside. And inevitably large, heavy equipment like that makes a mess.

But the plan is to follow on behind and clear up as best we can, encouraging grass to grow in the new rides which have been created through the wood. We can already see that the areas where work has been done look more open and let more light in. This too wil help grass and other plants cover and heal the forest floor quickly. But in the mean time, apologies again for any inconvenience. And as you can see below, the deer do not seem to mind.

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