The impact of last winter's storms, including Storm Arwen, was felt across Scotland, with over a million trees estimated to have fallen. The brunt of the storms was particularly focussed on the North East region, causing significant damage to buildings and natural heritage.
The project by Scotland’s largest conservation charity is an opportunity to reinstate and increase the prevalence of nationally important plant species and improve biodiversity within the estate.
The phased operation follows clear-up and restoration operations at other sites and is timed to have the least impact on animal breeding seasons and peak summer visit periods.
Visitors are encouraged to continue their enjoyment of the stunning, tranquil historic grounds through the remaining trail network.
Special interpretation will be unveiled soon, allowing visitors to stay abreast of routes open, spot wildlife and plant species, and engage with the ambitious forest management strategy.
Chris Wardle, Garden and Designed Landscape Manager – Aberdeen and Angus, said: “In keeping with the bold aims of our new ten-year Nature Beauty & Heritage for Everyone strategy – prioritising sustainability, conservation and engagement – we are turning the destruction of last winter into a chance to re-consider how we manage, enhance and protect our natural heritage for future generations.”
James Henderson, Operations Manager – Aberdeenshire South, added, “The forests of Aberdeenshire are entwined with the history of our properties and the local people – and are one of the highlights for the local community and international visitors alike. We will continue to keep everyone best informed, prioritise safety and minimise the impact on our popular trails. This is also an opportunity to engage everyone through new trail mapping, interpretation explaining our approach and the wonderful spaces, and to make routes more accessible where possible – especially with the introduction of our new all-terrain wheelchairs.”