Tentsmuir Forest major path closures as work starts to clear Storm Arwen damage

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Major restrictions are set to come into force at Tenstmuir Forst as work gets underway to clear damage caused by last winter’s storm Arwen.

Forestry and Land Scotland are set to begin work in the New Year, which will result in diversions as well as the closure of the popular coastal trails and tracks. The work planned for this month will impact access from January.

The closures will include the Sustrans NCN Route 1 cycle route and Fife Coastal Path. There will also be some restrictions for visitors moving along the forest edge paths and beach along the north coast, and they are likely to remain in place for three or four months for safety reasons.

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Robin Lofthouse, area visitor services manager with the FLS, said; “As with any significant forestry operations there will be some heavy duty machinery on site and it’s unsafe to have visitors walking in the area or dogs running about off leash.

Tentsmuir Forest with trees flattened by Storm Arwen (Pic:  Forestry and Land Scotland)Tentsmuir Forest with trees flattened by Storm Arwen (Pic:  Forestry and Land Scotland)
Tentsmuir Forest with trees flattened by Storm Arwen (Pic: Forestry and Land Scotland)

“The machine operators might not be able to see or hear anyone so it’s imperative that visitors take heed of any closure signage and fencing and observe and respect the exclusion zone.

“The work we are doing in December to clear storm damage will be well away from public routes so there will be very limited path closures but in the New Year we will close the whole northern strip to keep the public safe.

“As well as closing the main routes, much of the northern woodland strip and the land adjacent and the dunes will also be off limits when we are working at the forest edges. Dog walkers and visitors coming from Tayport will still be able to use the road along the western boundary to get into the forest but should follow the diversion signs to get to those parts of the forest that will still be safe to visit.”

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FLS is consulting local communities on its proposals for how best to manage Tentsmuir Forest in the years to come. As well as continuing to be a valuable local recreational resource the forest needs to be made more resilient to the impacts of the Climate emergency.