Trail feedback sought

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
The new Leeuwin-Naturaliste Regional Trails Strategy is open for public comment until Monday.
Camera IconThe new Leeuwin-Naturaliste Regional Trails Strategy is open for public comment until Monday. Credit: Russell Ord

Public comment has been extended until Monday for residents to provide feedback on the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and City of Busselton’s shared draft trail strategy.

The policy document will guide the future of trail development within the region, and comes as the State Government recently unveiled an upgrade to The Pines mountain bike network in Margaret River as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

The new Leeuwin-Naturaliste Regional Trails Strategy would serve as “a guide for strategic investment in trail recreation, tourism and event development for trails across the Capes region,” publicists said.

Augusta-Margaret River Shire asset services manager David Nicholson said the plan would cater to future recreational growth across the Capes.

“We live in a beautiful region full of active, outdoorsy people, and trails are a great way to experience this, be it on foot, bike or horse,” he said.

“As the region grows, trail use is expected to increase, which is why we need an overarching trails strategy — to make sure trails are developed responsibly, sustainably and in line with community aspirations.”

Common Ground Trails, led by former Margaret River Off-Road Cycling Association president David Willcox, developed the strategy after widespread consultation in 2019-2020.

The strategy included horse and MTB trails as well as dual-use trails for bushwalkers and runners. It would integrate with the unfinished Wadandi Track, “establishing it as the region’s key spine trail,” as well as other major trails, Mr Nicholson said.

Work at The Pines included 3.4km of new MTB trails, with more to be finished midyear, bringing the network to a 15km total of 20 separate trails.

WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the investment boosted the regional economy, bolstered tourism and protected biodiversity and helped provide for the future of “one of the world’s fastest-growing sports”.

Visit amrshire.wa.gov.au to comment.

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