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Hundreds of 'dead and diseased' trees to be cleared along TT course

'Corridor' to be cleared near Glen Helen

Hundreds of 'dead and diseased' trees along the TT course are to be felled in the coming weeks as part of preparations for this year's races.

A 15m-wide and 1.2km-long corridor is to be cleared between Laurel Bank and Sarah’s Cottage on the A3.

Government says the majority of the trees - comprising of ash, elm and larch - are on government-owned land, and many pose an immediate risk to road users.

Issues with the trees were found by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture during a survey in 2021, and now they're said to be in a state of 'significant decline' with an 'unacceptable level of potential failure near the roadside.'

DEFA Minister Clare Barber says her department 'must act' as the trees, in their current state, could cause significant damage or worse.

She admits there will be an 'unavoidable, noticeable change to the landscape, but insists every tree will be inspected for wildlife, such as bats, before removal.

Government says the area will be replanted over the next two years with 'carefully chosen native broadleaves' - 'suitable to the location and less susceptible to known plant diseases.'

The ten-week project will get underway tomorrow, with a break in works due to a scheduled Mountain Road closure.

• Phase 1: March 8-26 – traffic lights 24 hours a day; March 27-31 – road closure 9.15am and 4pm daily with diversions in place

• Phase 2: May 2-23 – traffic lights 24 hours a day

Meanwhile, a 300-metre stretch of the Sulby Straight needs to be resurfaced - that ten day project will start next month.

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