Police asked to step up patrols at Thrunton Wood due to number of visitors ignoring closure

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Police have been asked to step up patrols at a popular Northumberland woodland closed due to storm damage.

Thrunton Wood, near Rothbury, is currently being cleared by Forestry England after damage caused by Storm Arwen in late 2021.

However, there have been several incidents in recent weeks where people have entered areas of woodland which are currently off limits.

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Storm Arwen damaged or destroyed 12 per cent of Thrunton’s trees. Some have been cleared, but others are still hanging dangerously in the air and could fall at any time.

Storm damaged trees at Thrunton Wood.Storm damaged trees at Thrunton Wood.
Storm damaged trees at Thrunton Wood.

For that reason the wood has been closed to the public with large warning signs erected at all access points.

Alex Maclennan, recreation, public affairs manager Northumberland with Forestry England, said: "We’re concerned that there could be a serious accident or fatality because warnings are being ignored.

"Not only is there a danger of being struck by falling trees and branches, heavy harvesting equipment is also currently removing trees and clearing access roads.

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"We’ve asked police to step up patrols because of the number of recent incidents and we’ve even had to erect heras fencing at the car park which is the last thing in the world we wanted to do.

"We’re trying to get the work done as quickly as possible so it can be reopened but the more we’re hampered by the public the longer it will take.”

The woodland is popular with walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders.

Forestry England hopes to have the wood fully opened by the summer.