On Saturday August 29 Graham, Tony and John went on a quick trip to the Wandoo Wetlands to see how previous Track Care WA endeavours were travelling.
After a coffee at the Lakes Service Station, we travelled in two vehicles into the conservation area. John travelled with Tony because he would have a better conversation in that car rather than competing with Graham.
The first stop was a quick catch up with the team from the 4WDrive Club of WA at the Wandoo Campground. We went searching (and found) a huge Tiger Snake that the 4WD Club members had just seen before we arrived and discovered a plethora of orchids flowering in the bush around the camping area. What a great site for a camp out! Then it was off to ‘Work’!!
The first work stop was at Turtle Dam where we found that original signage was still in place (Figure 1), but unfortunately people had done ‘donuts’ in the wet mud near the sign and attempted to cross the ditch elsewhere.
Then we went to Piggery Road. For the first time is three years we observed our first backward step. Some Numpty, who obviously cannot drive, had either gone straight into the wetland (Figure 5) or were travelling fast enough that they missed the turn in the track. They used cardboard boxes to eventually get out but left all of that rubbish there. They pulled out our signs (figure 6), possibly to get themselves out or because they were in the way when they finally got out of the bog. But we remedied that by putting them back. They pulled out the bollards and left them out of the holes which ended up as a death trap for the local frogs (Figure 9). We managed to find the pulled out bollard (Figure 10) and replaced them (Figure 11) in several parts of the site. We are now looking at how we can learn from this and create a little better protection.
So, why would Track Care want to close off this road with bollards? We don’t! These are the ‘chicken’ tracks around the main path of the road. The road is very muddy and thought of as a challenge but this is a conservation area that is part of our drinking water catchment. So this rubbish, diesel and other car fluids are leaching into our water. The Numptys who use this area for a challenge need to find another area that is suitable for their kind of ‘play’. Track Care encourages responsible 4W driving, particularly in this type of location. We do not believe you should not test out your 4W drive but we do believe that it should be done in the appropriate area. Perhaps, with enough lobbying we can get an area set aside for this kind of testing of a vehicle’s capabilities.
Track Care will have some projects coming up in this area if you are interested.