A Garff commissioner is calling on the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture to ‘reconsider’ the closure of a section of path in Dhoon Glen.

Marinda Fargher says the department isn’t ‘intending’ to reopen the trail and will instead put up permanent fencing until that area ‘returns to nature’.

The department has said it created the diverted path to deal with between 30 and 60 trees which are rotting.

Ms Fargher believes the fencing will be around for years.

She said: ‘When I looked, yes there is a tree down, and there is slippage on the bank above, but that’s what happens in glens, it’s nothing new, but this policy is new.’

She added: The commissioners are particularly concerned that this closure decision may create a precedent for management of trees and glens in the future.

‘They will be seeking a meeting with departmental officers to obtain further information and to ask them to ensure that their plans are fully communicated to the public.’

Clare Barber, Minister for the Environment, Food and Agriculture said: ‘I think no one wants paths closed in glens, but I think there is a reality that we have to face around the cost of managing all of the environments that we have.’