Wood-burners warning: leave woodlands alone!

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Householders with fashionable wood-burners have been warned not to nick wood from nature reserves and country parks.

As the popularity of log-burning fires and stoves increases - especially in affluent areas such as Milngavie and Bearsden - wildlife groups have become concerned about the amount of people carrying away boot-loads of dead wood from protected sites.

Some country parks have had to put up signs warning that taking the timber is illegal.

In extreme cases, chainsaws have been taken to live trees.

Countryside wardens also stress that dead wood is vital to fragile ecosystems.

They say it is anything but dead as it provides a home to insects, fungi and other organisms.

Managers at Mugdock Country Park, on the outskirts of Milngavie and Bearsden, urged people with wood-burners not to be tempted to pilfer.

Chair of Mugdock Park Management Committee, Councillor Eric Gotts said: “Fortunately at Mugdock, people who use the park generally accept that it is a wild place and that wood cannot be taken from any site without the landowner’s permission.

“Dead wood is extremely important due to its biodiversity properties.

“Large areas of Mugdock Country Park are protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due in part to the diverse range of beetles that thrive in the dead wood habitat. These in turn are food for many birds and mammals.

“We would like to thank the many visitors who come to Mugdock every week for assisting us in our endeavour to protect Mugdock and the many species of plants and creatures that thrive here.”