- improve safety for walkers and runners
- reduce conflict with other park users
- minimise further environmental harm being caused by unauthorised trail construction
- allow for revegetation and rehabiliation of some unsanctioned trails
Where will the proposed trails go?
Many of the bike trails already exist. The draft concept design suggests formalising and enhancing some of the trails, incorporating more sustainable design elements. The concept design also suggests some unsanctioned trails be rehabilitated.
Most of the proposed network goes through existing road reserve or the degraded quarry sites to the north and south of the park. The proposed formal walking trail and a beginner’s connection route are not in the road reserve area. The existing walkable limestone tracks throughout the park will remain.
The intent of the plan is to avoid on-going existing impacts to native vegetation by uncontrolled access and use of the reserve. The Mountain Bike Concept Plan seeks to improve tracks and by providing high quality thoughtfully located tracks.
What further environmental studies will be undertaken?
Should the concept plan be supported either in its current form or scaled down further detailed design will be undertaken. This detailed design will look at how to make the existing trails more sustainable.
This would include stabilising existing trails to prevent ongoing erosion, undertaking environmental assessments to minimise ongoing environmental harm, identifying areas where trails are causing environmental harm, mitigating and rehabilitation. The detailed design would also identify the trails to be closed. Safety of all park users will also be paramount.
What is the plan for vegetation?
A formalised bike network will help to minimise degradation to surrounding bushland. The intent is to minimise the loss of any vegetation as far as possible and re-establish vegetation in degraded areas. This will be further considered and addressed in the detailed design phase.
What rehabilitation will occur to old trails?
The City would revegetate trails that are no longer required with local endemic vegetation to enhance the environmental values of Manning Park.
What is the draft concept design?
The draft concept design is a proposal to improve a number of trails in Manning Park and close and rehabilitate others. Formalising and improving the existing trails is the process of making them sustainable to reduce the adverse environmental impacts associated with poorly designed trails.
A copy of the concept design is available online at comment.cockburn.wa.gov.au/mountaintrail or in hard copy at the City of Cockburn Administration building, 9 Coleville Crescent, Spearwood.
Why is this being proposed?
. A planned network would help to:
The concept design is a recommendation in the long term plan for Manning Park (Manning Park Master Plan, adopted in 2018).
How will the proposed trails respond to current vegetation condition mapping?
We undertake vegetation mapping of all of our reserves every four years. This current knowledge of the vegetation condition and vegetation communities would be used to design trails so that there is no further adverse environmental impacts.
Are there trails for walkers?
Yes. There are numerous existing trails at Manning Park which will be left for exclusive use by walkers and trail runners. For example, refer to purple ridge trail on concept plan.
Mountain bike trails have been minimised and strategically located to reduce impacts on other users. Detailed design will further focus on this aspect.
How will the mountain bike trail connect to the wider path network?
The trails have been located to minimise impacts on other trails used by walkers and runners. Mountain bike trails will commence at trail head points which link to the wider road network.
Where is Manning Park?
Situated north of Azelia Road at Hamilton Hill, Manning Park is considered part of the larger Beeliar Regional Park that encompasses Manning Lake and the limestone ridge to the west of the wetland.
What parking provisions are there for mountain bike riders?
There is currently designated parking areas at Manning Park that are considered adequate to cater for mountain bikers for Stage 1. A car park with potential for additional parking is located south of the lake with an additional car park located at the base of the Manning Stairs. Many visitors are likely to be local residents that will be riding to the trails. Alternative parking areas may be required for Stage 2. The Manning Park Master Plan also recommends the existing car parks and road network be re-configured to make better use of space.
Where are the main entries to the mountain bike network?
The concept plan identifies the main trail head points, which are the entry points to the mountain bike trail network.
What is the cost of delivering the mountain bike trail?
The overall estimate to construct all of the trails to a high standard is about $2.5M. Much of this will be sourced via grants.
When would the mountain bike trail be delivered?
If it goes ahead, we expect the first trails to be constructed in 2021 but this is dependent on the available funding.
Is the mountain bike trail suitable for less experienced riders?
The trail network will have a range of trails to cater for beginners to more experienced riders.
How will trails be maintained?
The current vision is for the trails to be maintained by the City with volunteer assistance from members of the mountain biking community.
The detailed design of the trails will be such that any erosion and damage are minimised, and in the unlikely event they occur, are easily rectified.
What about motorbikes?
Motorbike access to any of our conservation reserves is not permitted and penalties apply. Where practical fencing and gates are installed to prevent access and regular Ranger patrols are undertaken. The police are informed of any ongoing issues.
What has been the process so far?
Consultation has been undertaken with local residents and mountain bikers as part of the concept development and during development of the Manning Park Master Plan.
What were the key findings from the Manning Park Master Plan process?
Many unapproved mountain bike trails are currently being constructed at Manning Park resulting in environmental degradation and user conflict. There is an ever increasing demand for approved well designed and constructed mountain bike trails at Manning Park.
What would rehabilitation of old trails look like?
There are numerous areas at Manning Park that have been and are currently being revegetated. Revegetation would be undertaken by environmental professionals.
How was the concept plan developed?
The City engaged consultants, Common Ground, to develop the concept plan.
Common Ground sought input from the community and key stakeholders to inform the concept plan.
How will trail runners and walkers be accommodated?
There are many walking trails that will remain.
The establishment of designated mountain bike trails will reduce user conflict with other trail users.
Many of the trails used by trail runners and walkers will not be available to mountain bikers. Where trails are to be utilised by both riders and walkers/runners they will be located in areas where the direction for mountain riders is uphill. Therefore bikers will not be travelling at fast pace which will help reduce user conflict.
Minimising user conflict will be one of the prime considerations during the detailed design phase.
What will happen after the feedback period closes?
If the project goes ahead, a detailed design will be undertaken for Stage 1 with further community consultation being undertaken for Stage 2.
How is dieback managed?
There is considerable literature that indicates that Phytophthora Dieback is not present on coastal soils since these are alkaline with a higher pH. Because of its high pH, limestone suppresses Phytophthora Dieback. Almost all of the City’s conservation areas have limestone firebreaks because it helps to prevent the spread of dieback.
Although a minimal risk, dieback could be brought into the Park by walkers, runners, bike riders and any other park visitor. A formal network will help to minimise the risk of spread, by keeping all user types to a dedicated pathway that has adequate signage and wash stations.
What tree surveys will be undertaken?
Detailed design may require tree surveys to be undertaken however any trail construction would be such that there would be no detrimental impact on existing native trees.
How does the draft Concept Design tie in with the Beeliar Regional Park Management Plan 2006?
The Beeliar Regional Park Management Plan (BRPMP) identifies the area where mountain bike trails would be constructed as Area No 30. The BRPMP identifies that public access in this area should be restricted to cycle tracks, nature trails and through access ways in certain locations.
The BRPMP also identifies that rehabilitation of vegetation should take place. As such, the City intends to mitigate the risk of any further unsanctioned trails being created by formalising some of the existing trails, and rehabilitating and revegetating others.
Confining bike riders to specific trails should occur to prevent further degradation.
It is noted that a large portion of the trails shown on the concept plan already exist. Many of the proposed trails are not within the regional park but in exiting road reserve.
What flora studies have been undertaken already?
The City undertakes a flora survey of all its reserves every four years on a rotating basis. Manning Park was last surveyed in 2017. The surveys are undertaken by an Environmental Consultant with suitably qualified staff. The survey assesses vegetation condition and also maps the vegetation communities. The next survey is to be undertaken in 2021. These surveys would be used to inform any future detailed design.