A lower section of Dhoon Glen has been closed for an indeterminate period.

The section, which runs adjacent to the river, had previously been closed temporarily.

Garff Commissioners said that following an update from the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture that a survey of the trees had been undertaken and that there were about ’30 to 60 are in a very poor condition’.

The authority added: ‘These could pose a danger to the public if the area were not closed.

‘The recommendation from the survey is that the trees should be left in order that they deteriorate and fall naturally. The department have advised that if the trees were felled there would also be bank stabilisation issues along the adjacent river. They say in addition that the management scheme they are implementing will provide the best outcomes in terms of forming wildlife habitats.’

The temporary barriers currently marking the closure area will be replaced with wooden fencing and works will be undertaken to divert the footpath.

Garff Commissioners also said that it is wanted to ‘ensure that the public are made aware in advance of the closure; along with bodies involved in tourism, biosphere, and heritage’.

The board added: ‘Members are particularly concerned that this closure decision may create a precedent for management of trees and Glens in the future. The board resolved to contact the department requesting further details of the plans including mapping that showed the diversion route and to ask what alternative management options had been considered for the area. The commissioners will share information received at the earliest opportunity.’

Last year the DEFA announced that a section of the main path into the glen from just after the road bridge to the wheel casing was going to be closed permanently.