DEFA have advised the Commissioners in regard to the current access restrictions in Dhoon Glen.
They advise that, “After careful consideration, we have now committed resources to work on the closed section to make safe and re-open at the earliest opportunity. This will involve some tree felling and pruning, footpath improvements and work around the disused mine adjacent to the wheel casing.
The main prerequisite for opening the path to the public will be the tree work, which has been professionally assessed, and which requires the removal of trees on safety grounds. We are currently in the process of procuring a suitable contractor to undertake this work, which is no mean feat given the location of the trees, however, we are aiming to have this work completed during this coming winter season and before the end of March 2024, subject to contractor availability. The work will see the removal of 5-6 mature broadleaved specimens, and we will assess the immediate area for replanting or promotion of existing natural regeneration if feasible.
It is hoped that once the tree works are completed, and subject to a site assessment, that the path can be re-opened. However, it is the Departments’ aim to improve the access through this area by improving drainage and the footpath surface, this may require post opening temporary restrictions to allow these works to be competed safely. Work has already been undertaken by the DOI on the boundary PROW to improve drainage (predominantly ground water from the fields above) which will help improve access along this path and the improved drainage will help to alleviate some of the concerns raised over long term ground stability within the Glen.
As the Glen is registered as an ASSI, we have consulted with the Department’s biodiversity officers on the proposals and will seek formal approvals from the Eco-Policy team for undertaking the prescribed works.”
The announcement is very much welcomed by the Commissioners who had expressed concern to the Department about the closure.