Moray gears up for annual motorsport event
ONE of the North East of Scotland's premier motorsport events will play out across Moray and Aberdeenshire on Saturday.
Nearly 100 cars will compete in this year's McDonald & Munro Speyside Stages Rally, which covers 45 miles of forest tracks and includes Elgin's Cooper Park.
Forest and Land Scotland (FLS) is reminding local people that woodlands will be closed from Thursday until Sunday in order for the event to play out.
Whiteash Forest, near Fochabers, will be closed on Thursday for a media day but will be opened for public access again on Friday.
Event stage forests will be closed on Friday and Saturday and will re-open on Sunday. They are Teindland, Ordiequish, Gartly, Whitehaugh, Balloch, Rosarie and Ben Aigan.
FLS's John Thomson said: "The rally is a magnificent event that draws hundreds of visitors to the area but safety is a top priority and it takes a lot of organising to make sure that any rally event is carried out as safely as possible.
"We are closing off several forests to give the rally’s event team time to check the course, ensure barriers and signage are all in place and that marshals, spectators and competitors can enjoy the event safely. However we do have other forests in the area where visitors looking to enjoy some quiet and solitude will be welcome.
"Why not try a new place for your walk this weekend – you might find a new favourite spot!"
Other sites nearby that are unaffected include Roseisle and Culbin, The Bin and Torrieston.
Anyone looking to spectate during the rally should observe the organiser's strict requirements over the use of official viewing areas and the general safety guidance outlined in the Spectator Code of Conduct.
Runners are also reminded that Elgin Parkrun will not take place this Saturday due to the annual event.