A most important feature of the landscape, says The National Trust

A most important feature of the landscape, says The National Trust

Munibung Hill has been on the minds of many people over the years, not least of which have been the people who visit on a regular basis and have done so for 30 or 40 years.  Plans of one kind or another have been prepared, some of which have been filed and left to gather dust, so to speak.  Others have been updated and contain valuable background information from which we can learn about the changes in thinking over time. Each version brings another perspective and this one is no different.  It’s the Draft Glendale Recreation and Land Plan, 2015.  Here is some content we think is worth passing on:

Walking tracks and recreational trails provide opportunities for people to access natural areas, promoting physical activity, which lowers the incidence of obesity, depression and other illnesses related to sedentary lifestyles. A walking track is a track provided for walkers, whereas a recreational trail also caters for walkers, joggers and bicycles. Tracks and trails may be located on varied terrain, on narrow tracks where access is limited, or utilise fire trails or unsealed roads. The frequency of use and volume of use are the major factors dictating the width of the trail. Some tracks may require a more durable surface if use is expected to be high. Decomposed granite and other forms of fine crushed rock may be used where the frequency and volume of use is low and a less visually dominant pathway construction is required.

The document also notes:

Also identified the spectacular long-distance views from various locations along the ridges, unique to the region.  Due to their high elevation these views must be maintained and enhanced. The system of ridges and spurs, radiating from Munibung Hill to the south, west, north and east provides an ideal opportunity to establish a network of pedestrian paths to allow access from the surrounding urban development areas to the ridgelines and their spectacular views.

Munibung Hill is the highest landform in the LM region between the coast and the Sugarloaf Range. The National Trust considers Munibung Hill as a most important feature of the landscape adjoining Lake Macquarie. A visual assessment by URS* produced guidelines for the protection and management of portions of Munibung Hill ridges and upper slopes for scenic protection combined with open space to allow members of the public to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding region.

The strategy identifies potential uses including: the opportunity for mountain bike trails  as an additional attraction to both locals and visitors to the area, and the creation of linkages providing continuous access for pedestrians and cyclist connecting to existing networks.

The NSW governments, Planning Guidelines for Walking and Cycling, strongly supports the provision of walking and cycling facilities. Key elements of the guidelines include: That walking and cycling access is provided to and along natural areas such as ridges and creek lines. Councils are encouraged to raise the priority of path and trail projects to increase overall funding levels.

*URS were the consultants to Council. The company has now merged with AECOM.