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The sights, smells and feel of the forest

“Lockdown has imposed many irritating restrictions. However, it has also motivated me to walk across Munibung Hill far more frequently than I have in the past,” says Fergus Hancock, a long time advocate for the protection of Munibung Hill.

“I have enjoyed walking trails to the southern end of the reserve and enjoyed the sight, smell and feel of the forest. It is always nice to watch friends and family touch the leaves of unfamiliar plants such as the Creek sandpaper fig Ficus coronata  and see their surprise. And it is lovely to see families enjoying the walks and young children smiling as they walk the tracks.”
“The tracks are particularly wonderful after rain. The aroma of moist forest and the sunlight coming through the forest canopy is heart-warming. Even though the tracks may have experienced rain, they are still quite walkable and generally safe (excluding tracks beginning from Lucilla Ridge, Quarry Road and Hillview St) and the exercise is really enjoyable,” notes Fergus.

“I have sent numerous pictures to colleagues across New South Wales and spoken about our local highlight.”
“The tracks are well used, and I often come across people walking dogs on a leash. I have noticed some of the tracks showing wear and tear, especially where side barriers are decaying. Many of the tracks will degrade and become unsafe unless action is taken to repair and maintain them. That is something all the community should place pressure on with Council and the major private landowner – to put in repair works and make sure tracks remain safe and are not damaged by trail bikes or weeds.”
“Birds are prolific. So many species of birds live on or use the hill: from fairy wrens to bell miners to rosellas, from tree creepers and butcher birds to hawks. Munibung Hill has a wonderful and diverse range of birds that are generally unafraid of human visitors”.
“Trail bikes are a different story. They continue to cause damage to tracks and hillslopes. It is obvious trail bike riders are not aware of their responsibilities to prevent damage to a public place and to repair damage caused. All trail bike users who enter Munibung Hill do so illegally. There are plenty of places away from Munibung Hill where they can ride. There is no need for them to scour the hill and make it unsafe for those who walk and want to continue to enjoy this landscape. Munibung Hill is a place to relax, to exercise, to feel a bit closer to nature and enjoy the magnificent views the hill provides; an experience that makes every day wonderful.

 Fergus Hancock is Secretary, MHCS
MMM … Issue 23, October 2021