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A popular lookout tower in Aros Park on Mull has been deemed unfit for purpose after extensive rot was discovered within the structure.
Alainn Tower was originally built by a Forestry and Land Scotland civil engineering team for display at the Royal Highland Show in 2008 and was relocated to Mull after the event.
It has since been well used by locals and visitors alike. The structure offered great views over the tree tops to Tobermory and down to the plunging Aros River waterfall.
Jo MacLean, FLS’s area visitor services manager, said: ‘We’ve been working hard to get Aros Park ready to welcome thousands of visitors this summer.
‘It’s a fantastic resource both for local people and tourists and, with the coastal footbridge recently completed, a new disc golf course on site and the play park and the toilets progressing towards opening it continues to be a great place to enjoy a day out.
‘It was really disappointing to learn that we’d have to drop plans to refurbish the tower but we are looking to remove it with minimal disturbance and then focus on enhancing the park as a fantastic destination for all.’
The tower was closed in 2021 when a routine inspection discovered some rot in the supporting structure.
It was only when a contractor started work on making repairs that the extent of the damage into other parts of the structure was uncovered.
Several of the main timber columns, deck joists and deck boards were beyond repair and at the point where they needed to be removed.
Despite having been built from treated timbers, its location so close to the waterfall and to the coastline has meant that it has been almost permanently wet, which has taken its toll.
Jo added: ‘We know how valued and appreciated it is by the local community so will be sad to see it go but we hope to be able to continue to make use of the area.’
Work to dismantle and remove the tower is likely to take place in July. Subject to environmental considerations, FLS hopes to create a view point and picnic area next to the tower’s current location to retain some amenity value.
Photograph: Several of Alainn Tower’s main timber columns, deck joists and deck boards are beyond repair. NO_T26_ArosPark_AlainnTower