Moray Council has confirmed that trees are to be felled that are causing an ‘immediate danger’ around the boundary of woodland near the Eight Acres Hotel.
The tree felling will be carried out at the Oakwood on the outskirts of Elgin next month, when a number of semi-mature beech and oak trees are to be removed.
Surgery is to be carried out on several large beech trees along the eastern edge of the woodland close to the hotel. However, a veteran oak tree next to the A96 end of the boundary wall will be retained.
A Moray Council spokesman said the main focus was the protection and conservation of the most important feature of the site – the oak woodland and the wildlife community it supports.
He added: “The council wants people to enjoy the woodlands which provide free, quiet and informal public access and we recognise that the woodland is a renewable and sustainable resource.”
The local authority say that the work accords with the Oakwood management plan, aiming to reduce the number of beech trees within the Site of Special Scientific Interest, adding that Scottish Natural Heritage has been consulted and is in agreement with the works.
A council statement added: “Some of the boundary trees are showing health and structural problems and could pose a risk to users of a nearby footpath.
“The trees are also causing immediate danger to the old dry stone dyke at the boundary of the woodland.
“Agreement has been reached with the Quarrelwood Woodland Park Association where tree surgery will be carried out on beech, rather than felling.”
The works, which have been approved by both the Forestry Commission and Scottish Natural Heritage, will begin in early November and are expected to take two to three weeks during which the public will be excluded from the immediate vicinity for health and safety reasons.