Early this morning, contractors arrived at Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim to begin felling work at Dark Hedges, an ancient avenue of beech trees that starred as Kingsroad in the hit TV series Game of Thrones.
In June 2023, a survey found 11 or the 86 trees – which were planted around 1775 – to be in poor condition and a risk to public safety.
Six of the 250-year-old trees are to be felled and a further four will receive remedial work. The work is expected to take four days to complete.
“Following concerns about the condition of some of the trees the Department commissioned an independent specialist survey which found that 11 trees, out of a total of 86, along this route are in a poor condition and could pose a potential risk to the public,” said a public notice on Northern Ireland’s Department of Infrastructure.
“The Department immediately liaised with the relevant landowners and other stakeholders, however, given the urgency of the work required, arrangements have now been made to remove 6 of the trees (stump retained) and carry out remedial work to 4 trees, to reduce the risk to the wider public. The condition of one further tree will be assessed onsite.”
The Department said that they will continue to engage with landowners about a suitable management strategy to protect the additional 75 trees. Work is due to end on 24 November, though this will depend on weather conditions.