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Sanquhar Dam Restoration Group is removing dangerous trees as part of ongoing maintenance of Forres beauty spot

By Garry McCartney

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Volunteers chip in to help with the clear up operation.
Volunteers chip in to help with the clear up operation.

VOLUNTEERS maintaining a local beauty spot have been making it safer following recent stormy weather.

The Sanquhar Dam Restoration Group (SDRG) has removed a number of trees from the slopes around the pond that were blown over or left with hanging broken branches after Storms Isha and Jocelyn last month.

SDRG spokesman Brian McDonald confirmed surveys are carried out regularly, particularly when hazards become apparent.

He said: "As many of the trees at Sanquhar pond are elderly, the incidence of hazards increases. We deal with fallen timber outside bird nesting periods."

SDRG employs a qualified tree surgeon to manage dangerous trees while the volunteers help remove branches for chipping.

Brian said: "The chippings are used to resurface internal paths opened up for easier access to areas away from the main paths. Chips suppress weeds and are a natural solution to guide walkers. Natural degradation requires that this work is carried out periodically to maintain the surfaces."

A tree surgeon deals with one of the fallen trees.
A tree surgeon deals with one of the fallen trees.

Sale of logs removed as firewood finance future projects.

"Anyone requiring firewood should approach our volunteers at the pond on Saturday mornings," said Brian. "We supply them in four-to-six-foot lengths. There is a waiting list for timber as it only becomes available when circumstances allow."

He added: "Recently, funds have been allocated to the desilting of the pond. SEPA permission to carry out the work is also expected to be received in draft form soon.

"There is a never-ending menu of jobs needing attending to!"

SDRG has a loyal team of volunteers with a wide range of skills gained over many years of involvement.

Brian finished: "One of the most important aspects of the work dictates that our operations are always conducted with safe working practices.

"We have a knowledgeable and effective group and access to specialists who can advise how we should tackle the various projects that arise."

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