Revegetation to restore foreshore bushland reserves

Bass Coast Shire Council has started preparation works to plant 10,000 indigenous plants on the Cowes West and Ventnor foreshores, in response to Crown Land encroachment.

This revegetation is part of Council’s Encroachment Program, which focuses on rehabilitating public land sites. In many of these cases, the original coastal vegetation was cleared many decades ago and has since been maintained as grassed areas and used, sometimes unknowingly, by adjacent properties as an extension of their yards.

Four sites at Cowes West and one at Ventnor are currently being prepared for planting, which includes spraying of environmental weeds such as kikuyu. Planting will be carried out during winter and spring, when conditions are best suited to plant establishment.

Bass Coast Shire Acting Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan said that Council is committed to restoring coastal vegetation where encroachment into Crown Land has occurred.

“Unfortunately, due to various reasons including illegal clearing activities, the quality and extent of our coastal vegetation has been significantly reduced, with only about 10 per cent remaining,” Cr Whelan said.

“Coastline areas are often more prone to the effects of climate change and vegetation is vital in protecting these areas from storm fronts.”

Vegetation supports a number of ecological services, including provision of habitat for native animals and increasing the resilience of landscapes in a drying climate.

In 2018, in response to ongoing encroachment activities and community feedback, Council adopted the Foreshore and Bushland Reserves Encroachment Policy, to provide long-term strategic direction to manage ongoing encroachment issues.

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