Several pine trees which are prohibiting the growth of native plants and posing a significant fire risk will be cleared this month at Kilmore’s Monument Hill Reserve.
The works are expected to begin on Monday 18 June, with the northern section of the reserve and part of Monument Road to be closed to the public while they are undertaken.
The site was a former school pine plantation off Monument Road and Heritage Victoria have determined the trees have no heritage significance.
Removing the trees will significantly reduce the threat of bushfire entering the reserve from the north and will allow native plants to flourish.
The pine trees are also considered a major environmental weed in accordance with the Monument Hill Reserve Management Plan 2014, which states they are capable of damage because of their height, density and capacity to alter the pH of the soil and make it hard for native plants to survive.
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the works would complement improvements being done by council at the reserve recently including weed control and rubbish removal.
“Monument Hill Reserve is a beautiful place that is a really significant part of Mitchell’s natural environment,” Cr Sanderson said.
“Council has been actively making improvements at the reserve with weed control, rubbish removal and putting in place measure to stop illegal trail bike riding.
“Removing these pine trees will open up the area and will allow our native flora to flourish, will significantly reduce the risk of bushfire, and will allow council to continue our rehabilitation works.
“We thank the nearby residents and regular users of the reserve for their patience while these important works are undertaken.”
The works will take approximately 10 days to complete, with most of the felled trees to be mulched onsite and some left for a CFA training exercise.
There will be traffic management in place during works for a short period of time in the north section of the reserve on Hunts Road and Monument Road. Road access arrangements are in place for residents.
To protect the community’s safety, there will be no public access to the northern section of the reserve while the works occur. Access will remain on the mid and southern walking tracks.
Consultation has been undertaken with stakeholders, including nearby residents.
The tree removal has been funded by a Victorian Government Biodiversity On Ground Action Grant and is being conducted by Mitchell Shire Council in partnership with the CFA.
For more information on the project, view Fact Sheet, please contact council’s environment team on 5734 6200.