In many areas of Ku-ring-gai people living near bushland have been busy constructing bike tracks for their family and neighbours to use. We are aware of these tracks in North Turramurra, East Lindfield and North Wahroonga and there are many more.
This is illegal! You cannot go onto public land and do what you like. That is just like setting up a coffee shop at the front of your neighbour’s house and then dumping the rubbish in their garden.
These tracks can do tremendous damage to bushland, for example:
- erosion and compaction of the soil that damages root systems and destroys micro-organisms that plants depend on, particularly orchids
- destruction of plants and animal habitat including threatened species
- introduction of weeds and fungal pathogens
- changing stormwater flow causing erosion
- disturbance to wildlife that are nesting or foraging nearby
The authorised Warrimoo track was constructed after detailed research into the appropriate route and suitable materials.
Ku-ring-gai Council is actively implementing its Recreation in Natural Areas Strategy which includes the closure of these unauthorised tracks. Council has the power:
- to issue a notice to stop work
- to issue fines
- to recover the cost of remediation works
- to take legal proceedings to restrain the unlawful activities
But it seems that some people think they are entitled to do what they like in the bush.
There is an online petition circulating at the moment trying to gather community support to persuade Ku-ring-gai Council to stop closing and taking down illegal bike tracks and rehabilitating the bush.
[Please also see update at end of story]
The introduction to the petition demonstrates the gall of the proponents:
Waterball Enduro Mountain bike trail has been in construction for over a year, has not damaged the beautiful surrounding bushland in any way and has brought together so many kids in the local community in its construction and use. It has had many hundreds of hours spent in its building, design and maintenance.
These photos clearly demonstrates the damage they are doing to the ‘beautiful bushland’. Actually it is blatant vandalism.
UpdateThe damage two bushland caused by the track builders in North Wahroonga has now been remediated by Ku-ring-gai Council. There is still a lot of work to be done in other sites.