HIGHLY regarded Environmental Biologist and Wildlife Filmmaker, Simon Cherriman, is assisting the Shire of Mundaring in meeting its environmental commitments in the lead-up to the construction of the new recreation centre.
Development of the new $10.1 million state-of-the-art building is likely to commence in the next few months but before work takes place, Mr Cherriman has been busy inspecting the site for animals such as possums and nesting birds that potentially needed to be safely transported to a nearby location.
"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 also remained empty when he returned to the site to collect them.
Shire President David Lavell said Mr Cherriman had been approached specifically due to his fantastic reputation and his 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 existing potential habitat trees within the design footprint of the new Mundaring Recreation Centre will be felled, but these will be left at the site as ground habitat. They will continue to provide environmental benefits such as 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 is the creation of nesting boxes for the local area, part of which will incorporate sections of the existing trees.
Once Mr Cherriman has completed his work at the site, clearance of the area will commence, followed by construction of the state-of-the-art centre, starting towards the end of the year.
'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."
Other environmental commitments which 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 of Mundaring'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 entire region."
For more information about the project, go to www.mundaring.wa.gov.au