A POPULAR tourist attraction has been closed while Coillte cuts down 16,000 trees to prevent the spread of a fungal-like disease.
Earlier this month, the forestry company confirmed that phytophthora ramorum had been detected in Japanese larch in Gougane Barra Forest Park, in Co Cork.
Control measures are now being implemented in accordance with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine protocols and Coillte say up to 16,000 trees will be felled and removed under licence from the site for processing at approved facilities.
The park will close for the duration of the process, which Coillte estimates will take up to six months but the Gougane Barra Hotel will remain open during the period. New trees will be planted in their place.