Storm Arwen

Storm Arwen and responsible access

General News

As we approach the festive period it is likely that an increasing number of people will want to access the outdoors. Members of the public could potentially place themselves in harm’s way while clear-up operations from Storm Arwen remain in progress.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) makes it clear that land managers can temporarily erect exclusion notice signs, divert paths and other routes where public safety would otherwise be compromised. Under Section 5 of SOAC this specifically extends to felling and other forestry operations where the public are instructed to ’Read any signs you see warning of forest operations, such as tree felling and extraction, and follow any precautions taken by the land manager. This will ensure that you do not hinder these operations and ensure your safety and that of people working there’.

SLE members impacted by Storm Arwen should ensure they erect clear warning signs for the public.

Members of the public should always follow instructions on signs when they are taking access in the countryside. You can find out more about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code on the dedicated website here


Confor has provided the following advice for land managers:

  • Concentrate on plans for blown pine (and other non-spruce species) and associated necessary felling first
  • Where practicable, leave blown spruce that is still on the root alone for now – experience suggests it should last for at least eighteen months before any deterioration
  • Where practicable, don’t start cutting pine from root until you’ve agreed sale to mill and have haulage organised – this will help minimise the likelihood of blue-stain.

SLE members can read more advice and information about the aftermath of Storm Arwen here.