Huntly Wood trees 'may have to be felled' during remedial work at Banbridge beauty spot

Some trees in the picturesque Huntly Wood in Banbridge may have to be felled “due to health and safety concerns”, it’s been revealed.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said in a statement that “to ensure the public can continue to enjoy the splendour of the area in a safe manner”, it has asked an aboricultural consultant to advise on work required to balance the duty of the care of the council towards users of the area whilst preserving the beauty and biodiversity of the site.

The beautiful Huntly Wood is a natural woodland area situated between the Huntly Road and River Bann in Banbridge. Sited on steep wooded banks, the area provides a picturesque and tranquil walk through beech and oak trees which is enjoyed and treasured by many.

Covering approximately nine acres, the Huntly Wood area opened to the public in 2007 when Banbridge Golf Club granted the former Banbridge District Council a 25-year lease to manage the woodland area for public access and conservation.

Huntly Wood in Banbridge is to undergo remedial tree works.

"As the Woodland Trust maintain, ‘Caring about woods usually means caring for them’ – they require active management,” said the council statement.

"With this comes a duty of care to users of the area and, as the site bounds the busy Huntly Road, to road users as well. Unfortunately, age and disease has taken its toll on a number of the trees on the site with many of the trees reaching a stage of maturity and decline.”

The council said the aboricultural consultant has advised that “due to health and safety concerns it is an unfortunate necessity that some trees within the wood will have to be felled, reduced in height or pruned back, however this will be kept to an absolute required minimum”.

It is proposed that semi-mature trees will be planted to replace any trees which are felled and that steps will be taken to minimise any disruption to wildlife on the site during the proposed works.

It is anticipated that work will commence in early 2023. Whilst work is being undertaken it may be necessary to close the wood to the public and road closures along Huntly Road may be needed during this period.

The local authority said the public will be kept informed of any disruption to the area via its website and social media platforms.

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"Once works are completed the Huntly Wood area will once again be safely enjoyed for many years to come and continue to be a biodiversity sanctuary and haven for local wildlife,” added the council spokesperson.