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Traditional horse-power fuels ongoing work to restore Aberdeenshire after winter storms

Traditional horse power helping in tree-felling operations across Aberdeenshire. Image supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.
Traditional horse power helping in tree-felling operations across Aberdeenshire. Image supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

As work to restore Aberdeenshire to its former spledour following the winter storms continues, several unusual members have been recruited to give the team some horse-power.

Aberdeenshire Council has drafted an additional specialist contractor to help with tackling the devastation caused by Storms Arwen and Corrie.

After completing the tree-felling and clearing at Haddo and Aden country parks, the forestry team is now preparing to clear additional areas of damage across the region.

But they haven’t brought in just heavy machinery to assist with the operations.

Image supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

As large vehicles are often unsuited to inaccessible sites, the contractor has opted for more traditional methods and uses horses to extract the timber and clear fallen wood.

Head of environment and sustainability Ewan Wallace said: “This approach is being used on sites which are inaccessible to the commercial contractor or where we need to minimise any damage to our paths or bridges.

“It has also been used to very good effect where the affected trees are close to residential properties or were the flora and fauna is sensitive and would be adversely affected by the heavy machinery.”

Restoration project to be completed within months

As part of the operations, work will begin at Battlehill at Huntly next week, followed by Lucylaw Woods and Duff House at Banff and other sites at Alford and Rhynie.

Gauchill Woods at Kintore, the Meadows at Huntly and Clearhill Wood at Aberchirder will also feature in the programme, which is expected to be fully completed by autumn.

Image supplied by Aberdeenshire Council.

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “Public safety continues to be the council’s over-riding concern during these ongoing tree-felling operations across Aberdeenshire and we do appreciate your patience during these works.

“We would urge the public to take notice of all closures and stay away from areas where there are trees down and where felling operations are being undertaken.

“Our teams and external contractors are trained, qualified experts and undertake careful risk assessments at every site – so please keep yourself safe and don’t try to cut down fallen trees or remove wood for firewood and so on.”

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