Road to close as helicopter helps with hillside fencing

A map showing the deer fencing on the Rest and Be Thankful.
A map showing the deer fencing on the Rest and Be Thankful.

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Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) is advising road users that there will be some traffic management on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful later this month as the next phase of the long-term slope stabilisation project gets under way.

The woodland creation project at Glen Croe is a partnership project between FLS, Transport Scotland and BEAR Scotland, that aims to contribute to a long-term and significant reduction in the risk of road-closing landslips.

Before planting on the slopes begins in October this year, FLS teams will be removing old deer fencing and installing new fencing along the 9km perimeter of the site.

Because of the challenging nature of the site, fencing materials will have to be lifted in by helicopter. Although its flight path will mostly be contained within the site, there will be occasions where it will have to fly close to the road, which for safety reasons will mean that traffic will have to be stopped.

James Hand, MICFor operations forester with FLS, said: ‘We’re tackling this huge job in three sections, starting at the northern end of the site. The idea will be to replace the old deer fencing but on such a challenging site, we’re going to need the help of a helicopter to get the materials in place – and to take away the waste.

‘We’ll be starting with the ‘uphill’ sections so the helicopter will be able to safely fly within the site boundary. However, for public safety, we will need to stop traffic for short periods – 8-10 minutes at most – when the helicopter is moving materials in to position for work on the roadside section.

‘This will only be as and when required and we will do our best to keep stoppages to a minimum. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that this might cause.’

The helicopter flights for the northern section will take place on February 25 and 26, with flying time between 7.30am and 4.30pm.