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Harvesting at Tunstall 2017

After several years of small scale work, the Forestry Commission will be thinning and harvesting all of Tunstall forest. The work will commence in approximately 2 to 3 weeks’ time. The work is split into four zones and will be completed sequentially working anti-clockwise from the south west corner next to Tunstall common and finishing in the Sandgalls car park corner. Whilst harvesting in a zone, the Viking Trail will be closed to all users and there will be no access within that zone. 

The contractors will be working between 6am and 6pm Monday to Friday. However, it is not feasible for them to make the trail safe for use outside of those times. Please obey all notices and any instructions given by the contractors. It is for your own safety - for example, if a chain saw blade unexpectedly hits a foreign object, parts of the chain can be ejected (chain shot) with the velocity of a 22 bullet and travel in the region of 90 metres! The contractors will do their best to protect the trail, which in the short term may include covering the surface with brash to protect it from damage by machinery.

The first zone to be harvested runs from the fire road FR29 (east/west), immediately prior to Bomb Hole 1 ( V1B) and finishes at the Avenue (Chestnut walk, north/south) (V4I). A diversion route will be signed following FR 29, "rides" (non-surfaced fire roads) and some singletrack. The first section runs along Enterprise Drive (FR29) which has public access to the cottages, so pay particular attention and be vigilant for motor vehicles. The FC will be placing additional signs on this road with particular reference to the speed limit of 15 mph.

It is expected that the whole exercise will take approximately 1 year to complete. The Forestry Commission will be keeping TROG informed of progress, and will consult with us before reopening a zone to ensure it is safe for MTBing. We may need to call on volunteers at the end of harvesting each zone to help with raking and any repairs. The contractors will be the same ones that did the recent work near the powerlines. Much has been learnt from this previous work and they are now much more aware of the standards required by both TROG and the FC with regard to trail management and reinstatement but cooperation and compliance from riders is very important in order to maintain the relationship that has been formed.

Details of future zone closures and diversions will be published on the TROG website and Facebook page as work progresses.

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