Coillte to fell 16,000 trees to stop disease at Gougane BarraWednesday 22 January 2014 21.58
Coillte has begun felling 16,000 trees at a forest park in Co Cork following the discovery of a disease that is spreading to woodlands throughout the country.
The forest park at Gougane Barra will be closed for six months to try to curb the spread of Phytophthora ramorum.
However, trees at a further 50 sites across the country are suspected to have contracted the disease too.
Gougane Barra attracts around 100,000 visitors every year but recently an unwelcome visitor has arrived.
Phytophthora ramorum is an infectious disease that attacks trees and other plant species with devastating effects, destroying woodlands.
Three years ago the disease was detected in Japanese larch trees here for the first time.
Since then the state forestry company has been battling the disease, felling any infected trees in its forests.
Gougane Barra is one of 50 woodlands infected with Phytophthora ramorum, forcing Coillte to begin felling 16,000 trees there.
The walks at Gougane Barra forest park will remain closed for the next six months.
Coillte has abandoned efforts to try to eradicate the disease and is instead hoping to contain it.