Hundreds of acres of Moray woodland are being chopped down to stop the spread of an infectious disease.
Thousands of lodgepole pine trees on the Glenlivet Estate will be felled in an attempt to protect the rest of the species.
Plants on the Crown Estate land have become infected with red band needle blight, which is caused by fungus.
Attractions at Glenlivet will close at the end of October until Easter while about 200 acres of “dead or dying woodland” is cleared.
Two large harvesting machines will move in on the land to work for several months. Most of the wood is expected to have degraded and will be used as biomass fuel.
The disease is one of the most significant affecting forests across Great Britain and was first recorded in Scotland 15 years ago.
Since then, action plans have been drawn up by the Forestry Commission to stop the spread of it.
Outbreaks have been recorded across the Highlands and in Aberdeenshire during the last decade.
The disease can be identified by yellow and tan spots on needles, which soon turn red before they are shed. It causes gradual weakening of the tree until it eventually dies.
During the felling, the BikeGlenlivet trails will close as well as the cafe there.
The Crown Estate’s Glenlivet manager, Vicky Hilton, said: “All of the infected trees are either dead or dying, and the only option is to fell them before they become a hazard to the users of the mountain bike trails.
“This will also halt the spread of the infection to the healthy trees on the estate.
“The felling will result in some parts of the trail network being much more open than they are currently, providing beautiful views over the Glenlivet Estate.”
During the felling, cyclists will still be able to access other parts of the estate and routes will be suggested.
The large site will be replanted over the next two years to coincide with an expected upsurge in the pine weevil population, which feed on roots of felled trees.
However, the beatles, which usually die out after two years, also feed on the bark of young trees and kill them.