Pupils warned to stay away from woods path

Eric Gotts Hunter Road/Craigton Road side near entrance to Craigton Woods - pic of him on public pathway pointing to trees which are obstructing the right of way after they fell in storm'Photo by Emma Mitchell'13/1/12
Eric Gotts Hunter Road/Craigton Road side near entrance to Craigton Woods - pic of him on public pathway pointing to trees which are obstructing the right of way after they fell in storm'Photo by Emma Mitchell'13/1/12

PUPILS at Douglas Academy have been warned not to walk through Craigton Woods in Milngavie because several trees which were blown down by the recent storm have fallen across the public path.

The school’s head teacher, Seamus Black, has sent letters to parents urging them to tell their children to take an alternative route to the school until the problem is resolved.

Eric Gotts Hunter Road/Craigton Road side near entrance to Craigton Woods - pic of him on public pathway pointing to trees which are obstructing the right of way after they fell in storm'Photo by Emma Mitchell'13/1/12

Eric Gotts Hunter Road/Craigton Road side near entrance to Craigton Woods - pic of him on public pathway pointing to trees which are obstructing the right of way after they fell in storm'Photo by Emma Mitchell'13/1/12

At least five sections of the public path, which is one of East Dunbartonshire’s well used core paths, have been affected with trees either lying across the walkway or leaning perilously towards it.

The woods are owned by Keith Lawrence and Provost Eric Gotts has written to his appointed planning consultant - James Barr - to urge them to make the path safe.

The Milngavie councillor said: “The council took the unprecedented step of instructing the head teacher of Douglas Academy to issue a warning letter to all parents seeking their support in advising their sons and daughters not to use the public right of way through Craigton Woods as a route to and from school until further notice.

“Apart from the immediate need to cut back all damaged trees overhanging the right of way, the proprietor needs to develop a woodland management strategy for the long term for the whole wood to minimise the chances of more tree falling in any future stormy weather.

“It really makes no sense to neglect this ancient woodland, given the legitimate safety concerns expressed by local residents over many years.”

Head of development and enterprise at East Dunbartonshire Council, Thomas Glen, said: “It is the responsibility of the landowner of Craigton Woods to clear the path and make it safe. The council has contacted him to make him aware of this and an arboreal assessment is to be made. Following this a management strategy will be implemented. The council’s access officer will visit the site to monitor conditions.”

A few years ago a young girl was seriously injured while walking along the pavement next to the woods when a tree fell on her head.

The landowner, Keith Lawrence, said: “We have been involved in ongoing discussions for many years with officials and Mains Estate Residents’ Association about the problems that have existed in the woods in an attempt to find a sustainable solution that will be of benefit to all concerned.

“The problems are becoming worse as the deterioration in the woods continues and recent trends in the weather have highlighted this and will continue to do so.

“We will continue to work towards a solution that will make the area a safe and enjoyable amenity for residents and other users.”