Friday, December 29, 2017
Bayside City Council has completed an initial assessment of the area burnt by the fire in Cheltenham Park on 27 December 2017.
The burnt area forms part of a conservation reserve and as a consequence the area will be fenced to allow natural regeneration of vegetation to occur.
It is expected that the area will remain fenced for three years.
Mayor, Cr Laurence Evans said that the closure of this section of the park is in accordance with Council policies and will help to ensure that regeneration can take place without interference and while also ensuring public safety.
“To enable effective regeneration of indigenous vegetation Council will be closing this section of the park to the public,” Cr Evans said.
“The fire has created conditions that will encourage regeneration however soil disturbance by people accessing the site can damage the seed bed and inhibit regeneration of indigenous plants.
The installation of the fence is expected to be completed by 30 December however Council requests that visitors avoid entering the fire damaged area.
“While some trees that have been assessed as dangerous have been removed, the fence will also help to manage the ongoing risk of injury to people from the possibility of trees collapsing following the fire,” Cr Evans said.
Cr Evans said that the fencing is unlikely to have a significant impact on usage of the park as the enclosed area has largely been inaccessible due to the heavy vegetation.
“All walking paths within the park will remain open and the fire will not impact on access to any other amenities,” Cr Evans said.
“Alongside its sporting and recreation uses Cheltenham Park is also an important environmental reserve. The fire in this area of the Park provides an opportunity to improve its environmental qualities through natural regeneration,” he said.
Cheltenham Park is located on Park Road, Cheltenham in Melbourne’s inner south east.
Cr Evans said that Cheltenham Park includes sports grounds, pavilion, playground, BBQ area and is a popular park for dog walkers.
Since taking back active control of the area, Council has overseen the removal of one large damaged pine from the Cheltenham Golf Course with further pines to be removed over the coming week.