Many hands make light work at Spring Creek planting

July 17, 2021 BY

Graeme Stockton provides a demonstration to the volunteers. Photos: PETER MARSHALL

PEOPLE from the Surf Coast Shire pulled together to help restore an area of the Spring Creek valley with native flora on Sunday.

Surf Coast Energy Group’s Graeme Stockton co-ordinated more than 400 plants being put in the ground for the woodland restoration project in partnership with Torquay Landcare, Surfers Appreciating Natural Environment and the Surf Coast Environmental Action Team.

“Everyone had a great time,” Mr Stockton said. “It was well planned and everyone enthusiastically jumped onto tasks like clearing grass, placing taps and putting up covers.”

About 50 people gathered at Ashmore Arts for the planting of tree species such as yellow gum, manna gum, swamp gum, blackwood and bursaria across 35 acres.

Supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority through its Wild Otways Initiative fund, participants were also treated to a visit from deputy mayor Cr Liz Pattison.

With the recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the choice of not wearing a mandatory mask may have contributed to the increased turnout on Sunday, but Mr Stockton has credited the commitment to those who would see Torquay retain its beautiful green backdrop.

“It’s hard to say the impact of COVID-19 on the turnout of the tree planting,” he said.

“But there is a long history of Torquay for over 12 years of actively saving Spring Creek from urban development, and this was the first time people could actively get involved in restoring the area.”

Regarding the Surf Coast Distinctive Area and Landscape program, Mr Stockton said the ball was now in the court of Victoria’s Premier and the Minister for Planning.

“We fully expect Daniel Andrews and Richard Wynne to fulfil their promise of no urban development west of Duffields Road, and we fully expect to continue developing woodland in that area,” he said.