ENVIRONMENTAL biologist and wildlife filmmaker Simon Cherriman is helping the Shire of Mundaring in the lead-up to the building of the new recreation centre.
He has been inspecting the site for animals, such as possums and nesting birds, to move to a nearby location ahead of work on the $10.1 million building starting in a few months.
“On Saturday, I climbed five habitat trees and assessed them for nesting or roosting fauna, and set cage traps targeting animals such as bandicoots and possums, which were potentially using the site’s understorey,” he said.
“I didn’t find any obvious vertebrate fauna in the habitat trees and most hollows were in poor condition.”
The traps remained empty when he returned to the site to collect them.
Shire President David Lavell said Mr Cherriman was approached because of his good reputation and long-standing commitment to the environment.
“Not only does he assist the Shire with identifying animals that will need to be relocated, he is able to climb the trees if required and safely remove them himself,” Cr Lavell said.
Several potential habitat trees on the site of the new Mundaring Recreation Centre will be felled, but these will be left in the area as ground habitat. They will provide foraging habitat for ground-feeding birds and hollow hiding-places for lizards, snakes and invertebrates.
“I was very pleased that the Shire asked me to be involved,” Mr Cherriman said.
“Ensuring impacts to the Hills’ natural environment are minimised is so important. Human lives are enriched by the diversity of wildlife in this forest. We need to keep it that way.”
Cr Lavell said another significant component of the project was the creation of nesting boxes for the local area, part of which will incorporate sections of the existing trees.
“The local residents have been waiting for this facility for a long time as it opens up many opportunities for sport to be played all year round,” Cr Lavell said.
“The addition of the indoor courts will mean it’s a more comfortable environment for both players and spectators, irrespective of the weather.”
Another environmental commitments that will be completed during the preparation process is the removal of the top 100mm of topsoil to harvest as seedbank as part of the Shire’s revegetation program.
Cr Lavell said several members of the community would be involved in the project, including Mundaring’s Men’s Shed and Mundaring Christian College.
“We look forward to the opening of the Mundaring Recreation Centre as it will deliver a fantastic venue for the region,” he said.