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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 08:54 GMT
Walkers face falling tree danger
Fallen tree
Forestry Commission staff are working to make paths safe
Walkers in Cumbria are being warned not to venture into forests until work is complete to make safe more than half a million trees damaged in the storms.

The Forestry Commission said 500,000 trees had been lost in the county on its land alone in what it said were among the worst ever gales in Cumbria.

It said many forests are unsafe with paths, roads and rights of way blocked by fallen and damaged trees.

The Commission's staff are working to secure the damaged areas.

Graham Prest from the Forestry Commission said parts of Armathwaite, including Coombs Wood, have very large areas of trees blown over, as does Broughton Moor and some woods in the west.

He said: "The ground is waterlogged and so the trees are more vulnerable, so there are also lots of snaps and breakages and in most cases it is not safe to walk in woodlands until they have been made safe.

"We have redeployed all staff who are trained with chainsaws and our priority is public access and recreation - clearing footpaths, car parks and trails.

"We are focusing on Whinlatter and Grizedale as two prime recreation forest in the county."

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13 Jan 05 |  Cumbria
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