Latest forest news
This page has information about tree diseases, forest closures and other developments in public forests.
Tree disease at Castlewellan Forest Park
An outbreak of a tree disease in larch, caused by a fungal pathogen (Phytophthora ramorum), has been confirmed at Castlewellan Forest Park. Approximately 100 hectares of affected trees will be removed to help prevent the spread of the disease.
The forest will remain open to the public. However during this work some restrictions will be in place in certain areas and paths. Visitors must observe all health and safety signs and other signage placed in the forest.
Your help is vital in preventing the spread of this disease. Before visiting the forest, you should be familiar with biosecurity guidelines which help prevent spreading this disease.
Glenariff Forest Park reopens after weather closure
Glenariff Forest Park was impacted by the heavy snow and storms in March. On 17 April the car park, caravan and camping facilities, cafe and parts of the walking trails reopened. Access to the Ess-na-Crub waterfall also reopened.
Forest Service carried out major work to make access safe in the park and forest area. But some parts of the walking trails remain closed for public safety.
Mature trees on the steep-sided river banks were weakened by heavy snowfall and left in a dangerous condition. Land slippage occurred in late June, which caused more damage to the trail structures.
When fallen trees were cleared and handrails replaced, the Rainbow Trail reopened to visitors on 21 June.
Work to reopen the Waterfalls Walk is a priority. An engineering survey is necessary. The work on this trail will reopen the lower section to the public as soon as safely possible.
Forest Service apologises for any inconvenience and appreciates visitors' co-operation while work continues to reopen the remaining sections of trails. Please follow health and safety advice shown on park signage.
There is currently an outbreak of Japanese larch tree disease (P. ramorum) in Glenariff, Gortin Glen and Caledon forests. Timber harvesting work will continue in these forests until winter 2013.
During this work, there are some restrictions on public access to the forest parks. Visitors should follow all health and safety advice on signage and observe biosecurity measures to help prevent spreading tree disease.
Preventing the spread of tree disease
Phytophthora lateralis, a plant disease that affects Lawson cypress trees, has been diagnosed for the first time in Northern Ireland on trees in Tollymore Forest Park, County Down. Users of the forest are asked to observe signage and remain on the way marked paths.
Visitors are asked to observe all health and safety signs and other signage providing information on bio-security measures required to help prevent the spread of this disease.
Further information on preventing the spread of tree disease can be found on the page below.