Site preparation – ahead of building the new Mt Vandyke safe haven fence – is now complete

We have hit the ground running over the past month, with site preparation now complete ahead of predator-proof fence construction at Mt Vandyke. Construction of the fence itself is due to commence in March.

Gravel that we are using for the fence base and all-season access around the Mt Vandyke Reserve. Photo: Tom Sheehan.

The first step in the process has been the installation of an all-seasons gravel track, which the fence will be built upon. At this high rainfall site (if you’ve walked the Great South West trail you’ll know how muddy it can get in this area!), having a stable base will improve fence integrity (helping to prevent feral incursion from underneath). The solid base will also allow us to carry out regular fence checks and maintenance with ease all through the year. WestVic Earthmoving, who installed the track, have worked with NGT on a number of other projects including wetland restoration works across western Victoria. It was great to work with Goose and his team again.

As you’ll see below, the new track is on the inside of our old boundary fence, which we will leave in place, and the new fence will be offset from this, inside our boundary, by four metres. This will allow a vehicle width space between the old and new fences for maintenance access, without NGT staff or volunteers having to enter the surrounding conservation area to do those checks.

The new internal boundary track on NGT’s reserve at Mt Vandyke, which forms the base for the new conservation fence. Photo: Mark Bachmann

Now that the track is in place, construction of the fence can begin. Fence construction will be led by Mike McFall and his crew at Mount Charlotte Trust. Mike has many years of experience building conservation fences in most states of Australia, just like the one we’ll be installing at Mt Vandyke. Many months of planning have gone into our fence design (see this article from last year), and we also thank Mike for his input and ideas based on practical experience. Other partners in the upcoming fence construction phase are Waratah Australia and AG Warehouse Heywood.

In the next update, we plan to have some photos to share of the new fence under construction, so stay tuned!

We gratefully acknowledge that the project at Mount Vandyke is supported by:

Bushfire Recovery
for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program

Tom Sheehan