Save Collingwood Beach
Over many months, indeed years, BirdLife Shoalhaven has added its voice to that of the vast majority of the community members who have become increasingly angry about the vandalism of native vegetation along Shoalhaven's coast-line.
Collingwood Beach in Vincentia has become a symbol for this on-going battle between those who want to maintain a healthy and resilient dune system and those wanting uninterrupted views of the sea.
The fight to save Collingwood Beach has been ongoing since 2014! After a huge amount of time and effort, involving community consultations, a lot of Council staff time and air-time at Council meetings, a compromise position was negotiated between all parties early in 2018.
This led to a tree planting event in August 2018 along a 100m trial section of the dune. A mix of species of varying height was chosen, to build up an intact system suitable for a range of birds and other fauna, and to stabilize the dune, while still allowing filtered views of the bay.
The planting event was supported by over 60 volunteers from the local Bushcare group and Vincentia residents, both young and not so young, under the guidance of Council staff. Reality TV star, Wombat, was also there to raise some media attention.
Another section of banksias was later selectively pruned by Council contractors where previous vandalism had led to an overly dense thicket of shrubs. A review of the planting site is planned in two years to look to extend the restoration project along the rest of the dune.
Amazingly, more tree vandalism took place just a few weeks before the planting. Clearly some people are still determined to ignore the wishes of the majority of residents. This proves more than ever that Council must finalise a review of its vandalism policy, which they committed to as part of the decision to go ahead with the trial planting.
Vandalism of native vegetation is happening all along the coast. It is not just Collingwood Beach. Without a strong vandalism policy, the destruction of habitat on which our birds rely will continue.
At the time of writing (late 2018) BirdLife Shoalhaven is talking to Councillors to ask that this key issue is progressed, and progressed quickly.
(Click the images on the left to enlarge them, then click again to reduce them)