Council gives assurance that ecology considered during Dingwall Flood defences works
The Highland Council is reassuring members of the public that adequate habitat for the local species will remain following works being undertaken to maintain the Dingwall Flood Defences.
The Council appreciates the importance of trees within the environment and have not taken the decision to carry out the works lightly. Consultation has taken place with tree officers, ecologists, SNH and SEPA during the planning of these works to ensure that the scope of works was limited to what is necessary and acceptable without affecting the local habitats. Where the clearance works will significantly change the outlook along the canal path, the Council is however reassured by their ecologists that adequate habitat for local species will remain in place.
The Dingwall Canal Path sits on top of a formal flood embankment that was constructed by The Highland Council as part of the ‘Dingwall Flood Defences’ works completed in the late 1980s. Since its construction, substantial tree growth has occurred out of the flood embankments and this is not best maintenance practice of flood defences.
As a formal flood embankment the Council has a duty to inspect and maintain the embankment. Following a recent inspection by the Council’s Flood Risk Management Team, they identified that the trees are a risk to the integrity of the flood defence, and the level of general vegetation is a hindrance to detailed inspection. They also noted some areas of erosion and subsidence which are likely to require remediation works.
The removal of this vegetation will enable the Council’s Flood Risk Management Team to carry out future detailed inspections and maintain the embankments so that they can continue to provide vital flood protection for the town of Dingwall into the future.
The Council has appointed the contractor (Apex Trees) to carry out vegetation clearance on a section of the flood defences from the railway line down to and around Ferry Point.
For public safety, part of the core path that runs on top of the embankment will be closed during daylight hours weekdays, commencing 27 November for approximately two weeks, (including Saturday mornings 8am- 1pm).
The public are asked to follow on site safety notices detailing alternate routes. The Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.