Woods are a ‘huge headache’
Responsibility for the maintenance of the trees and fencing at Pinnacle Hill lies with Kelso Common Good Fund.
It’s a burden which could become unsustainable and a “huge headache” in the future, according to members of Kelso Common Good Sub-Committee, which met this week.
That responsibility would be accentuated if there were further events such as November 2021’s Storm Arwen, members were told.
It has led to the suggestion that the woodland could be “offloaded” to an environmental charity, such as the Woodland Trust.
Tom Weatherston said: “There’s nothing we can do about it right now but it is going to be problem, maybe not for me because I’m only here for the next five years, but I can see the woodland at Pinnacle Hill giving us, Kelso Common Good Fund, huge problems.
“I can see that train on the track and it’s heading straight towards us and maybe several years down the line it’s going to give this Kelso Common Good Fund a huge headache.”
Committee chair Euan Robson said: “It may be worth sending a note to the council’s forester for an assessment on what may or may not be needed there and when. I agree that it is a considerable potential burden.”
Councillor Simon Mountford suggested “offloading” the maintenance costs of Pinnacle Hill to the Woodland Trust.
He said: “At some stage it might be worth exploring whether we could offload it to the Woodland Trust. They are completely non-commercial, they are not looking for commercial-standard timber. They just want to preserve trees.”
Councillor Weatherston added: “Kelso Town Council paid £5,000 for it. Why they ever thought it was a good asset beats me, but it happened.”
A comment to which Councillor Mountford responded: “Kelso Town Council was robbed.”
Councillor Robson added: “We need to give some consideration to this issue because it is not going away and of course if we have another Storm Arwen we will be faced with all sorts of difficulties and we better be prepared for them I suppose.”
Before the transfer of Pinnacle Hills to another organisation or charity, such as the Woodland Trust, a public consultation would need to be carried out.