20 September 2021
Forestry Access Road Infrastructure | Loch Arkaig - Lochaber | Woodland Trust Scotland | 2021
Earlier this year, McGowan Environmental Engineering were appointed by Woodland Trust Scotland to deliver new and improved forestry road infrastructure at Loch Arkaig, near Lochaber. The project involved upgrading existing access infrastructure and creating new roads, box culverts and turning heads to support the extraction of non-native commercial tree species, designated for harvesting.
Loch Arkaig is approximately 12 miles long and surrounded by an ancient woodland which provides a mix of habitats for rare plants and a variety of wildlife. The primary objective of all the non-native tree harvesting is the restoration of 500 hectares of ancient Caledonian Pine Forest.
Sensitive and native tree species, predominantly Oak, are present along much of the roadsides and were left untouched by our construction activities. The use of on-site materials to construct the new roads minimised the need to import quarried stone and therefore reduced any unnecessary disturbance for local residents. The alignment of the new infrastructure followed existing contours and produced both a functional and aesthetically pleasing road network.
We worked closely with Henry Dobson (Site Manager – Loch Arkaig) at Woodland Trust Scotland throughout the project and were delighted to receive his positive comments on the service provided. Henry said:
“The McGowan team pulled off quite a feat. Both the hauliers and the ecologists are delighted with the new and upgraded roads. This is the first access infrastructure project that I’ve seen actually deliver all the environmental protection measures planned from the start.”
McGowan Environmental Engineering were delighted to assist Woodland Trust Scotland on this access infrastructure project and we look forward to working with them again in the future. Thanks to McGowan’s own Innes Crofts (Site Supervisor) and Alex Brown (Site Operative) for capturing the following images and impressive aerial photography: