Cottesloe trial throws light on beach shade trees

Cottesloe councillors Lorraine Young and Helen Sadler, with Simon Rodrigues, want a trial to cast new light on how shade trees could improve the town’s foreshore.  Picture: Jon Bassett.
Cottesloe councillors Lorraine Young and Helen Sadler, with Simon Rodrigues, want a trial to cast new light on how shade trees could improve the town’s foreshore. Picture: Jon Bassett.

COTTESLOE’S expensive foreshore could be shaded enough for all Perth residents to use if a trial of more trees is successful.

The trial was agreed to by the council earlier this month, despite previous attempts to plant trees along the clifftop path on the town’s 4.5km coast being hindered by adjacent residents complaining about the potential loss of their costly sea views.

However, the council adopted a proposal from architect Simon Rodrigues to trial four small nodes of shade trees on about 200m of coast opposite the Sea View Golf Course.

“Families could have picnics, people could watch the surfing and kitesurfing, and tourists would be able to enjoy Cottesloe under shade on a calm day,” Cr Helen Sadler said.

The test site is near the surf breaks known as ‘the Cove’ and ‘Isolated’ where there are no houses.

Cr Sadler said the area was chosen so the community can be shown shade trees are a benefit to all coast users.

Mr Rodrigues said he was inspired by the coastal trees of east coast resorts, such as Noosa, where “you are on the beach in a forest”.

Cr Lorraine Young said the concept fitted with the council’s green infrastructure management plan, and it could show residents it was possible to have trees and still enjoy the ocean views.

Species to be planted with the advice of Cottesloe Coastcare include the Rottnest tea tree and coastal sheoak.

The first could be in the ground in about a month, and they would be watered through summer.