Braidlie Farm, Newcastleton, Scottish Borders
In spring 2021, Agriforest were tasked with combining two difficult harvesting sites within the same property which involved removing diseased Larch (Phytophthora ramorum) on a steep hillside, and the removal of further Larch and Sitka Spruce in a nearby compartment.
The Larch was partially wind blown, meaning harvesting was slow and awkward at best. The steep ground was overcome by creating shallow tracks on the hillside, with Agriforest's excavator working alongside contractor IH Forestry's harvester to ensure all areas were harvested safely, with an appropriate extraction route being left behind for the forwarder to use. Any area not accessible to machinery were either felled uphill or downhill with a chainsaw with the harvester then processing the trees where safe to do so.
The project got underway in some stormy conditions, but ended in dry sunny weather. The landowner prepared and upgraded timber haulage routes within the farm with stone used from a nearby quarry, and haulage firm JA Dayson provided two 'Lorry and drag' configured units to haul the timber to market and along a restricted route. Access was unsuitable for articulated lorries, so this option was essential to allow the work to take place. Keeping load counts per day to an agreed amount with the local authority to reduce any damage or disruption to the local road network, timber haulage was a success and the site was completed soon after the harvesting machinery left site. With over 2,000 tonnes of timber produced from the property, the landowner's expectations were exceeded with a strong financial return handed back.
Agriforest will return to undertake ground preparation in the form of mounding prior to planting, drainage, and subsequent planting in the near future.