Statement from the Bailies Trustee's - Storm Arwen Damage
Storm Arwen has caused unprecedented damage across the whole of North-East Scotland.
For the past forty-eight years, the Bailies of Bennachie have been dedicated to making sure that our hill is kept clean and safe. It’s therefore heartbreaking for us to urge everyone to stay away from this iconic landmark, until it can be made safe (please note that all car parks around Bennachie are closed just now). Forestry and Land Scotland together with other land-owners are requesting the same.
Most tracks on the hill are currently blocked by windblown trees and are at a high risk from many more partially fallen ones. Emergency access to the hill is severely hampered. If an accident occurred it would take significantly longer than usual to attend and put any rescuers at unnecessary risk.
Trustees of the Bailies held an emergency meeting on 4 December 2021 to discuss the situation and establish a plan of action, to help where we can speed up a return to the hill. Bennachie is owned by several landowners and the recovery operation will be a collaborative one; we’re in the process of reaching out to landowners to find out what resources we can contribute to this essential effort.
The network of trails on Bennachie is extensive, clearance will be a complicated process and may take a significant period of time. The full extent of the damage is not yet clear, a survey will be required so that routes and work can be prioritised. Clearing trees requires specialised knowledge and equipment, which will be in high demand across the country.
Safety of the public, the workers and volunteers on Bennachie remains our highest priority. Your patience is greatly appreciated whilst we work with the various owners and organisations to restore access to Bennachie as soon as is practically and physically possible.
We will provide updates on our progress in the coming weeks, in the meantime should you have any questions, comments or feel you are able to contribute in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.