COVID-19 restrictions see huge increase in locals enjoying forest paths

In recent weeks, RiverConnect and partners have recorded an impressive rise in the number of residents enjoying the local bushland adjoining Shepparton and Mooroopna.


RiverConnect Project Officer Meg Pethybridge said, “The Yanha Gurtji Shared Path Network along the Goulburn and Broken Rivers has many regular users including those who cycle to work, walk their dogs or exercise in the forest.

Trail counters placed over the past three years indicate that daily visits average around 80-100 people per path. “I went for a bike ride on Sunday afternoon and recorded at least twice as many people over two hours,” said Ms Pethybridge.

‘Yanha Gurtji’ means ‘Come walk with me friend’ in Yorta Yorta language so it’s lovely to see residents recognising each other and waving and smiling as they pass.”

Greater Shepparton City Council Manager Environment Greg McKenzie said, “It’s great to see so many people enjoying our local bushland and heading outside for exercise while social distancing.”

“Connecting with nature is important for our health and regular walking or cycling in the forests can help residents to feel more socially connected while we are required to be physically separated,” he said.

“This is a perfect opportunity for everyone to develop their love and respect for the beautiful natural environment in Greater Shepparton.”

Residents seeking a map of the paths can go to visitshepparton.com.au for the Cycle and Walk In Greater Shepparton guides, which both feature a map of the Yanha Gurtji Shared Path Network and other popular paths in Greater Shepparton.

Please abide by all Victorian Government regulations regarding COVID-19 while exercising outdoors and respect native wildlife by taking any rubbish home with you.

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