Work clearing fallen trees inside three popular parks across Angus is finally set to begin.
People who use Crombie Country Park have been frustrated at the lack of progress to remove trees that have been blocking pathways ever since Storm Arwen caused major damage across the area in November 2021.
Demand for contractors and budget constraints has delayed clearance work, causing frustration in the local community.
For the past 17 months, people visiting Crombie Park have struggled to navigate paths blocked by trees that were uprooted during the winter storm almost 18 months ago.
But Angus Council has now confirmed work to remove the destruction is planned.
George Patterson, AngusAlive Country Parks Ranger said: “Because Storm Arwen was quite special in the way that the northerly winds were coming in, a lot of our trees weren’t used to that direction of wind.
“So it basically ripped out the root balls that we have on our very large trees because they’ve spent so many years being taken by the other side. So when these northerly winds of Storm Arwen came, nothing was really ready for it, and that’s why our larger trees have come down so abruptly.”
It’s a similar picture at AngusAlive’s other country parks including Monikie and Forfar Loch, which is making it difficult for those with bikes, prams and wheelchairs to have easy access.
But clearing the destruction has to be carried out at the appropriate time.
“We can’t go in and actually assess it all fully ourselves, it needs to be done with a lot of care and a lot of thought for not only just the biodiversity that we have,” added Patterson.
“If we’re going into places like this throughout the season we have to make sure that we’re thinking about what we might be disturbing as we’re going into assess it.”
Demand for contractors and financial constraints has meant, until now, a plan to clear the parks couldn’t be put in place. But following the approval of Angus Council’s budget, work at Forfar Loch will begin shortly.
However, until the current nesting and breeding season is over in the autumn, trees at Crombie and Monikie can’t be moved.
Councillor Serena Cowdie, Angus Council’s environment spokesperson said: “We are really aware that this has been a disruptive factor for people trying to get round our most beautiful natural environments and so (we are) really, really pleased that we’re now able to identify a budget.
“We’ve also identified the contractor who will be taking part in this work and those two match up so we’re confident that now we’ve got the contractor to do the work, and as soon as the ecological factors permit, which will be after the nesting and breeding season, that work will be taking place.”