Calls For Compromise As Beef Tub Deadline Looms

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THERE are renewed calls for a compromise to controversial tree-planting proposals near the entrance to the Devil’s Beef Tub beautyspot, near Moffat as a consultation deadline looms this Friday.

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell and local MP David Mundell have raised widely held concerns that initial plans by the Borders Forest Trust (BFT) would obscure aspects of the wild and dramatic landscape.

They this week visited the base of the deep natural hollow gouged out of the earth during the ice-age to meet nearby residents living at the head of the Annan Water Valley.

Both politicians had earlier raised the issues with BFT officials and described receiving a sympathetic hearing.

They welcomed the opportunity to view some of the remoter parts of the valley and further gauge local opinion, including visiting the Corehead home of campaigners Beryl and Alan Castle.

Oliver Mundell said: “I’m supportive of the Trust’s wider objectives of planting native woodlands and enhancing natural habitats over the wide uplands area they own but I firmly believe they must review their plans for the Devil’s Beef Tub.

“Their current planting lay-out would block some of the spectacular views from paths on the narrow approach into the foot of the Beef Tub and local people also fear prominent high deer-fencing could dilute the wild character of some slopes.

“Looking at the maps I feel sure, with sensible adjustments, BTF could achieve similar levels of planting without damaging the character of this very special place.”

David Mundell said: “As these broad-leaved trees grow they will clearly affect the character of the landscape for many generations to come.

“I’ve highlighted my concerns to BTF officials and urged them to compromise to help preserve this historic scenic landscape which is so valued by local people and visitors alike.”