On yer bike, Bob  

(above) City of Fremantle staff meet with contractors at Booyeembara Park ahead of the construction of mountain bike trails, which will involve the relocation of bobtail lizards (right) and other wildlife.

BOBTAIL lizards and otherwildlife in Fremantle’sBooyeembara Park are being relocated before construction begins on the new $1.4m mountain bike trails.

Riders will soon be able to enjoy two 500m downhill trails and a pump track where they can hone their bike skills.

City of Fremantle projectmanager Morgan Gillham saysconstruction of the trails includes the rehabilitation and revegetation of the eastern edge of the park.

“Booyeembara Park was used as a limestone quarry during the 1800s and as an unregulated landfill site from the 1960s through to the 1980s,” Mr Gillham says. “Over many years the City of Fremantle has worked with theFriends of Booyeembara Park andthe local community to transform it into the beautiful park we have today, but the site for the mountain bike trails is yet to be improved.

“In preparation for the construction of the trails we’ll be erecting fauna exclusion fencing and begin trapping and relocating wildlife away from the works area to other parts of the park.

“We’re anticipating that bobtail lizards will be the main animals being relocated, but other reptiles such as smaller skinks and snakes are also likely to be found.

“The project’s zoologist team will be using fauna guidance fencing and pitfall traps. The pitfall traps are holes dug in the ground with a bucket inserted into the hole to collect small animals that fall in as they are moving along the fauna fence.

“Once the trails are completed by early next year we expect the animals will return, and there will be vastly more habitat for them and much more food once planting is completed in winter 2023.”

Landscaping will include shelters, seating, bike parking, trees and shrubs, as well as integration with the adjacent six seasons garden, while lookout nodes will provide views at key sections of the trails.

Mountain bike enthusiasts first approached Fremantle council about the idea of trails at Boo Park in 2018.

Earlier this year the project received an $800,000 Lotterywest grant, adding to the $300,000 already allocated by council and $300,000 from the state government.

Signs will soon be erected around the eastern end of Booyeembara Park on Stevens Street advising of the upcoming works with some pathway closures during construction, including the main path from Stevens Street to the top of the hill and several smaller paths.

Meanwhile, the City of Fremantle has grown its urban forest with another 1926 trees planted during the 2022 winter season. 

A total of 901 trees were planted in natural areas like bushland and foreshore reserves, while 1025 trees were planted in Fremantle’s streets and parks, exceeding the 2022 target in the city’s Urban Forest Plan by 846. 

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