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New track supports coastal care

THE ‘missing link’ of the Cremorne Spit Track has begun construction, with the Pipe Clay Coastcare Group benefitting from a $20,200 grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF).

The Pipe Clay Coastcare Group completed one section of the track at the very tip of the spit eight-years-ago to help protect the dunes from sand dispersion, which leads to erosion.

“When it was high tide, people were walking on the dunes and would cause erosion, so the idea was to create a proper track with hard surface gravel,” Pipe Clay Coastcare Group president Jodie Presnell said.

“We knew that the top part was successful, so we wanted to replicate it by extending along the length of the dune and our aim was to just do it bit by bit with our resources.

“We had completed about 25 metres of the track with a bunch of volunteers in a September working bee, but when we found out about the TCF grants we thought it would be a way for us to get it done a lot quicker.”

Ms Presnell said the 245-metre track would be completed by walking track specialist John Hughes and would provide a number of benefits to the community.

“It will improve pedestrian access by providing people with a good track to walk on and also help residents who live there keep their feet from getting wet when it’s high tide,” she said.

“It will also improve pedestrian safety from heavy traffic and boats by moving the walking track off the road.”

Ms Presnell said volunteers of the group would be installing signs along the track to provide simple messages on how to protect the dunes, with there being a callout to the community to provide artwork to be displayed on the track.

“We want to put messages in about what you can do to plant native species such as coastal wattles to smother out the introduced marram grass, which isn’t good for the dunes as it makes them more prone to erosion,” she said.

“To further prevent erosion we also greatly encourage people to not store their kayaks or boats on the dunes, as well as sand or dune surf.”

The Pipe Clay Coastcare Group aims to enhance the coastal environment of Cremorne through regular on-ground working bees and by increasing the knowledge of natural resource management by engaging the local community in activities and through newsletters.

“We’ve had great support from the community and we’ve especially been happy about all the young people of Cremorne who get involved in caring for their local environment,” Ms Presnell said.

“At the working bee in September last year, there were about 50 people who helped with the start of the track, with a lot of the kids working really hard.”

The track is expected to be completed by May, with planting and sign work to be completed in September.

“The Clarence City Council has also provided funding towards this work, including signage and vegetation work, and provides yearly funds to carry out our general activities,” Ms Presnell said.

The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.

An independent funding body, the Fund provides grants to community organisations that make a difference by improving the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.

Caption: Walking track specialist John Hughes, left, and Pipe Clay Coastcare Group Secretary Anne Crummy on the Cremorne Spit Track.