Projects in the Highlands which help improve the transport of timber have been awarded over £2.2 million from the Scottish Government.
The cash boost, to Highland Council and a private project at Gorteneorn, is co-financed and drawn from the Strategic Timber Transport Fund which is managed by Scottish Forestry.
The funding goes mostly to improve minor roads – improving surfaces, widening corners, adding traffic calming measures or providing passing places.
All these measures will help keep the flow of timber moving to market and reduce impacts on local communities.
Announcing the funding, Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform said:
“A green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is imperative and, as part of that, we are committed to supporting our forestry sector given its role in our transition to net zero.
“The sector also provides thousands of jobs and generates around £1 billion to our economy each year.
“By improving our timber transport network we can help the industry get its timber to market and ensure economic benefits continue.
“It will also reduce the effects that timber lorries can have on small local communities.”
The roads to get improvements on include:
A837 Rosehall to Benmore
Abriachan – Docfour road and bridge works
B873 Altnaharra and Syre
A897 Helmsdale Melvich road strengthening
U2054 Saval Rd, Lairg
B9176 Struie Hill
In addition, the funding will pay for the continuation of a timber transport project officer who advises and assists with generating local projects.
A private woodland owner in Ardnamurchan will receive a £130,000 contribution to construct a timber stacking area, build a small bridge and upgrade a section of a forest road to help move timber out of the forest.
In the last five years, the Scottish Government has invested around £41 million through the fund into over 200 timber transport projects, helping over 55 million tonnes of timber get to market.