Council's Master Plan securing Mt Martha Bundy's future

Published on 02 July 2020

Council's Master Plan securing Mt Martha Bundy's future.jpg

The Peninsula’s beloved Briars is one of the largest environmental assets of Mornington Peninsula Shire.

Home to a wildlife sanctuary, picnic lawns, heritage homestead, native nursery, eco-living centre, astronomy centre, restaurant, cafe and farmland, The Briars has much to offer.

Council and the community have come together to set the vision of The Briars and how we can protect it for many years to come.

This Master Plan helps protect what is loved and cherished at The Briars with additions made to enhance our green spaces, conservation efforts and ability to connect our visitors to the natural, cultural and heritage beauty of the region.

Under The Briars Master Plan, the Ark Program aims to re-introduce locally endangered and extinct flora and fauna to The Briars.

Reintroduced species will be determined in consultation with experts and will be based on their predicted survival rate, the urgency to save the species, the positive impact on The Briars ecosystem and whether the species will help tell the stories of The Briars and the Mornington Peninsula.

The first species to be re-introduced to The Briars is the Mt Martha Bundy (Eucalyptus carolaniae) which is found in small pockets in Mt Martha, with around only 400 plants left.

Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor and Briars Ward Councillor Sam Hearn said threats such as vegetation clearing, pests, diseases and even possums all contribute to Mt Martha’s native plant being at risk.

“Council are really pleased to see The Briars Master Plan create a focus on protecting, enhancing and celebrating the natural, cultural and heritage beauty of this site,” said Cr Hearn.

“The Shire’s Natural Systems Team have been doing some great behind the scenes work to possum band trees and increase community awareness about the Mt Martha Bundy and other native species to help ensure they’re around for hundreds of years to come”.

Briars Ward Councillor Rosie Clark said this is just the beginning of some great work contributing to the growth of The Briars.

“We’re so lucky to live on the Peninsula and what makes it so special is its incredible landscape and diversity. Implementing measures to protect this site is the least we can do after all it gives back to us,” said Cr Clark.

With advice from the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria, the Shire Nursery at the Briars are growing an additional 300 of these critically endangered plants which will effectively double the wild population of this species.

Briars staff have been hard at work with Chisholm TAFE to prepare the site for these new plants, including fencing and weeding.

Briars Ward Councillor Bev Colomb said that she is pleased to see the Shire and the community come together to protect The Briars.

The next time you’re looking for a fun day out, visit the Shire Nursery, pick up a native plant for your backyard and join the efforts of the Shire and the community to conserve the Peninsula’s beautiful flora and fauna,” said Cr Colomb.

For more information about the Shire’s Briars Master Plan, visit: www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/briars-masterplan

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