UNPRECEDENTED and continuing bad weather has forced the closure of parts of two Manx glens.
The lower part of Colby Glen has been closed because sections of path have been either washed away or made unsafe by torrential rain.
Similar concerns have led to the closure of one of the riverside paths at Glen Helen - while one of the bridges has also been shut after being declared structurally unsound.
Unprecedented adverse weather conditions experienced last year show no sign of easing and the start of 2013 has seen yet more rain.
The huge volume of water in swollen rivers and streams has had an inevitable effect around the countryside and several National Glens have suffered river bank erosion and path damage.
In a statement, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture said Colby Glen has suffered ‘significant’ damage and the undermining of a number of paths has required the Forestry team to temporarily close the lower part of the glen.
It said: ‘Members of the public are asked to bear with the department until repairs can be made. This is scheduled to be undertaken in early spring, by which time it is hoped that the weather will have improved and resources can be made available.
‘Access can still be made through the upper gate to the paddock area and to the public footpath to Ballakilpheric.
‘A similar picture has resulted in the closure of one of the riverside paths at Glen Helen.
‘In addition, a routine inspection in the Glen found one of the bridges to be structurally unsound. Unfortunately, due to the cost of a new structure being significant, at around £15,000, it is planned that this bridge, one of six in the glen, will be removed in due course and will not be replaced.’
Elsewhere, access to National Glens and the department’s other amenities, such as the Tynwald National Park and Millennium Oakwood remain open.
However, visitors are being urged to be aware that ground conditions may be poor in certain areas and extra care should be taken where paths are muddy or slippery.