Work needed on woodland and river ford

Wooler Common
Wooler Common

The Forestry Commission is to try to keep disruption to a minimum as work takes place to thin the trees in the woodland at Wooler Common.

At Monday night’s meeting of Wooler Parish Council, Jonathan Farries, forest manager for the area, explained that the trees were planted in 1982/3 and usually thinning takes place after 30 years.

Currently, a road is being constructed to enable machinery to get into where the felling will take place.

“We are trying, where possible, to reduce disruption in the road construction by using stone from within the wood itself,” Jonathan said.

“From now, the road will be constructed over a relatively short space of time.”

The next steps will see the timber put up for sale in February or March next year with the aim of the felling starting in late March, April or May. It will take four to five months.

“Probably the biggest bone of contention will be getting the timber out and down the road,” Jonathan said, explaining that the contract can limit the number and times of the HGV movements.

Coun Anthony Murray requested that the lorries (four or five per day) come between 9.30am and 3pm so the schools are not affected.

Tracy Hall, from The Tweed Forum, told the meeting that there were concerns about the Haugh Head Ford as it is totally impassable for salmon and almost totally impassable for sea trout.

The ford is used extensively by Lilburn Estates as it’s the only access to arable rotation ground on the other side of the river.

One option is to replace the ford with a clear-span bridge, but another, which seems more popular, is to ask the county council to repair 30-40m of road to reinstate access to Coldgate Ford.