Helensburgh’s Duchess Wood is fully open to the public once again – after an official closure which lasted nearly eight months.

Argyll and Bute Council has confirmed that work on the woodland is now complete and it is safe for the public to enter.

The wood was closed on safety grounds in June 2019 after a report by a tree surveying company recommended the action.

The document, compiled by TD Trees, revealed at the time that 97 trees posed a hazard to the public, with hanging branches and dead wood among the risks.

READ MORE: Helensburgh's Duchess Wood is closed to the public over 'safety concerns'

But a council spokesperson said this week: “Work on the areas of concern is now complete and Duchess Wood is now open.”

The authority has also removed a notice on its website saying that the wood is closed.

Councillor Lorna Douglas, who chairs the wood’s management committee, expressed her delight at things returning to normal at the woodland facility.

Writing in a column for the Advertiser, she said: “I had a great walk through Duchess Woods this morning in sun, rain and hail and was delighted to see that substantial maintenance work has been carried out at long last.

READ MORE: Duchess Wood 'could be open by January' after safety closure

“The road approaching the car park has been extended with tarmac and the potholes have been filled in. This is most welcome as the car park had become a pothole obstacle course driving in and out.

“Fences have been renewed or repaired throughout the woods and the Thurgood bridge at the top and middle bridge have also been repaired with heavy-duty decking put down.

“The car park has also been cleared of overhanging branches and bushes so much so that I noticed some daffodils in full yellow bloom.

“The trees and shrubs around the paths have also been cleared which seems to open up the woods, even though it is winter and the trees are bare.

READ MORE: Helensburgh councillor hits out at 'communication fiasco' over Duchess Wood closure

“There is still some maintenance work to be carried out by the council team but what a difference.

"Between this work and the relentless tender loving care work of the Friends of Duchess Wood, the wood should be in good shape for spring.

"I can’t wait to see green leaves return on the trees and the sunshine illuminating them.”

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