As a result of the permit process, the Games presented a required Revegetation Plan. This Plan, insufficient as it is, was only generated after complaints by local residents of the unauthorized racecourse work.
The planting and seeding noted in this Plan would be beneficial. However, they do not apply to new trails themselves, which are extensive areas of de-vegetation and soil disruption running through the entire ravine twice, with multiple add-on trails.
Key highlights from the conditions in the Permit regarding revegetation, are :
“All areas of disturbed soil shall be stabilized and re-vegetated with an appropriate ground cover immediately upon completion of work and restored to a pre-disturbed state or better. All re-vegetated areas shall be monitored on a regular basis (weekly) to ensure that vegetation has established successfully, and re-vegetating shall be conducted during the growing season as appropriate to ensure vegetative cover of disturbed areas.”
There is no discussion by NPCA of the further vegetation destruction and soil loss which will almost certainly be caused by racing events and inevitable rogue trails post-Games. Also, the ravine is noted for its variety of very large mature trees. If these are destroyed by trail construction and use, they are not replaceable.
Who is responsible for this re-vegetation once the Games are over? This Significant Woodland is in a greenbelt that provides urgently needed tree canopy for the City, and is already in need of efforts to foster regeneration, particularly given the loss of so many ash trees. This was not addressed.
If the racecourse is allowed to be used, the area needing revegetation will be a vastly changed and permanently altered ravine woodland that will have lost many of its most positive features for other users. To see an example of what happens to this ravine with mountain bike use, see the attached photo of an area at the beginning of the race course, with old trails: see photo
The ravine slopes should not be further developed or used for racing but fully returned to their natural state. There are no plans to do this and, in fact, the slopes are the area receiving most of the new trails.