Vegetation Management Plan
Bathurst Vegetation Management Plan - Overview
Considerable community interest in vegetation management and the desire of Bathurst City Council (now Bathurst Regional Council) to have a plan to guide vegetation management into the next half century led to the preparation of the Bathurst Vegetation Management Plan (VMP). The VMP was adopted by Council in 2003 and provides the template for strategic vegetation management on land owned or controlled by Council within the Bathurst Local Government Area (LGA). Since the adoption of the VMP the area contained within the LGA has increased, though the principles and many of the strategies and recommendations of the VMP still apply.
Vegetation in the LGA is characteristically diverse and particular vegetation groups were classified according to a set of designated ‘vegetation themes’. These themes paint a broad picture of the ‘types’ of vegetation, and can determine the style or character of an area. The themes are briefly described below (Refer VMP, Map A, for map showing theme areas):
- Heritage Conservation Area. The vegetation compliments the cultural history of the area and comprises essentially exotic deciduous trees;
- Endemic Native Vegetation. Remnants of the endemic box-red gum woodlands;
- Native vegetation. Native vegetation though may not necessarily be endemic to the region;
- Exotic/native mix. A mix of both exotic and native species;
- Natives dominant. Similar to exotic/native mix, though with pronounced dominance of native species;
- Exotics dominant. Similar to exotic/native mix, though with pronounced dominance of exotic species;
- Waterways. Vegetation endemic to these drainage systems prior to European settlement; Floodplain. Mostly devoid of trees and vegetated with grasses, forbs and semi-aquatic herbaceous plants.
- To illustrate the use of themes in vegetation management, Council, community members or organisations can determine the most suitable vegetation type for a given area, such as a streetscape or park. This has the primary purpose of maintaining or creating a sense of visual unity, harmony and character, and a sense of transition from one landscape to another. Applying vegetation themes to a particular area also aims to retain and protect the City’s cultural heritage, rural identity, natural bushland and riverine resources. For example, in the Heritage Conservation Area planting native trees as street or park trees would be inappropriate. Similarly, planting exotic trees in the theme areas designated as being Endemic Native Vegetation, Native Dominant or the Waterways would be counter to its character and environmental integrity.
The VMP also gives guidance on vegetation management in key functional areas. Within each category a number of specific management strategies and recommendations are given to best achieve the vision of the VMP. These areas, termed management categories in the VMP, include:
- Significant Natural Landscapes
- Native Remnant Vegetation
- Parks and Public Reserves
The VMP is currently being used by Council and the community to manage the vegetation resource and plan for the future. The foundation of the VMP has set the direction for developing specific vegetation management actions and work plans by Council, key stakeholders and the community, thus strengthening the cultural and environmental values of native and exotic vegetation through coordinated and sustainable vegetation management and planning.
Author, Bathurst Vegetation Management Plan