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South coast stabilisation project

In early March, four tonnes (twenty loads) of materials and equipment were airlifted to areas of Track inaccessible by vehicle. This meticulously coordinated operation was the start of a project to stabilise badly eroded sections along the south coast.

At several locations, including the popular Conspicuous Cliffs, the Bibbulmun Track is badly eroded making the fragile ecosystem more susceptible to erosion. This spectacular section is very popular and it is important that visitors can continue to experience one of the highlight sections of the Track in an environmentally sustainable way.

The project outcome will be well constructed, defined trail with good erosion management that will discourage walkers from creating alternate pathways and allow the vegetation to re-establish thus stabilising the dunes.

It has taken years of planning and preparation to get to this point starting with the trial and assessment of various materials in the dunes to see how they withstood the elements.

Assessment and recommendations were documented for seventeen areas along the coast. Stage 1 is to stabilise four sections where realignment is either not possible or undesirable. Techniques will include the installation of timber box steps, 100% recycled polypropylene grids and coir mesh.

The planning and coordination to date has been a collaboration between the Foundation and Parks and Wildlife Services. This strong partnership was instrumental in the project being supported by a $34,040 grant from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program. Remaining cash contribution is from the BTF’s 2019 raffle – so thank you members for your support!

Particular thanks to Peter Masters and team from DBCA’s Frankland District for all their assistance – and to Mark Davidson, Charlie Soord, Geoff Meates and Ross Simpson and other support volunteers who have, or will be involved with carrying out the work.

Thank you also to Nutkin Lodge who allowed access to their property for the airlift. This walker friendly business is adjacent to the Track near Peaceful Bay – so base yourself there for walks in the area.

We’ll keep you posted on progress!