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Drone footage shows scale of devastation at Pitfichie Forest, Aberdeenshire

Drone footage released by Forestry and Land Scotland has shown the scale of devastation at an Aberdeenshire forest caused by winter storms.

Storm Arwen’s severe winds last November caused chaos up and down the country, resulting in widespread power outages and thousands upon thousands of trees blown over.

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) estimated that around 4,000 hectares of Scottish forests were affected by storm damage, which is a little less than the size of Dundee.

Storm Arwen caused havoc across the north-east. Pictured are trees which fell in Aberdeen and blocked Scotstown Road. Photograph by Kenny Elrick on 27/11/2021

Forests in the north-east of the country were hit particularly hard by Arwen, and subsequent named storms which finished off weakened trees.

As a result of Arwen, more than 18,000 trees were lost in Aberdeenshire Council forests. 

Work on forests could take many weeks ‘and even months’

FLS is currently carrying out work all across Scotland to clear the forests it manages and their trails and make them safe for visitors after the winter storms.

FLS drone footage of damage at Pitfichie Forest, Aberdeenshire.
FLS drone footage of damage at Pitfichie Forest, Aberdeenshire.

At Pitfichie Forest in Aberdeenshire, which is managed by FLS, it is estimated around 150 football pitches worth of trees were blown over by high winds.

A statement from FLS said: “With damage like this from Aberdeenshire right down to Dumfries and Galloway, it’s taking a lot of time and resources to make our forests safe for visitors.

“We know people are eager to get back to visit our forests and land.

“Please be assured we are working extremely hard throughout the country to get things cleaned up and open again, however in some areas the scale of work needing done means it will be many weeks — and even months — before all our destinations are back to normal”.

You can find out the current status of your local forest here.

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