National Parks are for all of us to enjoy. However, some areas can be a challenge, with difficult terrain in remote areas discouraging the less adventurous to visit. But these are sometimes the most pristine and biologically diverse places in our protected Parks system.
FNPW provided funding to improve access to Mount Field National Park in Tasmania. The alpine area of this popular park attracts a large number of visitors; however, this has led over the years to a degraded track prone to flooding.
This project was funded through generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.
This project focused on the start of a popular walking track at Mount Field National Park. The construction and maintenance of a new bridge over Lady Barron Creek and a new 145 metre boardwalk over a wet area after the creek crossing has significantly improved access to the trail.
More visitors will now be able to visit this pristine wilderness area thanks to newly installed bridge and boardwalks, which will protect both walkers and the environment.
The Lady Barron Creek is crossed just below Lake Fenton, an area subject to flooding. Each year hundreds of people of different ages and fitness levels make this crossing. The improved bridge has made it much easier and safer for walkers and has improved the water quality of the creek, which supplies 20% of the water for the greater Hobart area.
The surrounding area of the project site is home to the Deciduous beech (Nothofagus gunnii), or fagus as it is best known. It is the only cold-climate native deciduous tree in Australia. The new bridge and boardwalk allows visitors to view these popular trees, particularly in autumn when the fagus turns a spectacular range of autumn colours.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT
This project was funded by FNPW in 2016.
Wildcare Tasmania is the lead organisation for this project.
Further information about our project partner can be found on their website: https://wildcaretas.org.au/branches/friends-of-mt-field/
Improving Access to Tasmanian Parks
Written by Peter Franklin, President of Wildcare Friends of Mount Field
FNPW granted over $11,000 to an important project in Tasmania to improve access to Mount Field National Park. More visitors will be able to visit this popular tourist area thanks to the newly installed bridge and boardwalks, which will protect walkers and the environment.
For nearly 50 years I have been a keen bushwalker, so after I retired I became more involved with volunteering on environmental projects in National Parks. As Mount Field has always has always been one of my favourite places and is not far from home, it has become a focus for me. This project is about improving access at the start of a popular walking track at Mount Field National Park in Tasmania. It comprises of two main features, a bridge over Lady Barron Creek and the new board walk over a 100 m wet area after the creek crossing. This work will improve both the environment and visitor access. At the start of one of the most popular tracks, the Lady Barron Creek must be crossed just below Lake Fenton. This creek is subject to flooding when Lake Fenton overflows. An early solution was to install two concrete pipes to allow water to flow through; but walkers had to negotiate the rounded and slippery pipes. This was not easy especially for the less agile people, and it also looked unsightly.
Each year hundreds of people of different ages and fitness would make this crossing. An improved bridge will make it easier and safer for walkers to cross and also improve the water quality. A new boardwalk will also be constructed over an existing 100 eroded walking track in Mount Field east. This track now has a considerable flow of water, making it very boggy. The boardwalk will improve walker comfort and protect the environment. All those feets also muddied the creek, which supplies 20% of the water for the greater Hobart area. Since receiving the grant from FNPW, we have got off to a flying start. We have already completed the bridge and have now taken delivery of the timber for the track upgrade. In early January the track to Mount Field East was closed for two days while a contractor with heavy machinery removed the existing pipes and cleaned out the creek bed at the crossing point. A few metres downstream the debris that had built up from past flooding was removed as part of the work. The old pipes were re-seated and two new pipes added to allow for improved water flow. Boulders were added on top by gravel to provide a smooth walking surface. The area surrounding this project site has many endemic Fagus plants, Fuscospora gunnii. This is the only cold-climate native deciduous tree in Australia. The bridge that we have now installed allows people to access these popular trees much more easily. We have completed it just in time for the big increase in vistors during Autumn when the Fagus leaves change colour. Thanks to FNPW for the grant to help make Mt Field National Park a safer and more accessible Tasmanian destination.