A road in the Castle Grounds has been closed today (Friday August 16th) as Stornoway Trust workers begin felling a large tree affected by recent heavy rains.

A branch from the mature beech tree fell overnight. The tree is now to be completely felled to prevent any danger to walkers and customers of the castle, museum and college staff and students.

Stornoway Trust factor Iain Maciver told welovestornoway.com: “A large limb has fallen, leaving the trunk with a tear and it is obvious that other limbs could also fall.

“This is a tree which we have been monitoring for some time. The heavy rain while trees are still in leaf has placed additional strain on the joints between branches and trunk. The weight of rain-sodden leaves exposes hidden weaknesses and rot in the joints, and limbs can just come crashing down, which is what has happened here.”

There’s a temporary road closure between Shoeburn Glen and the Castle today as groundsman make the area safe. The felling of the whole tree is expected to take some time, but the area will be safe to pass before the end of the day and the road re-opened early this afternoon.

Iain Maciver said the mature beechwood would not go to waste. “We would never fell trees just to use their wood, but when a mature beech has to be felled, it does yield good wood which will be put to use creating new items in the future.”