WORK is set to begin in mid May on the vegetation management plan designed to
create a buffer zone around the Coffs Creek Flying Fox Camp to alleviate its
impacts on local residents.
The strategy was adopted after extensive consultation with residents and the NSW
Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) – which is the regulatory
body – and issued Council with a licence to carry out the vegetation work.
This consultation is ongoing and includes workshops with residents and regular
meetings of the Working Group. DECC will also continue to provide technical
advice and support.
The vegetation management plan aims to consolidate the flying foxes in the
centre of the reserve, away from residential properties.
This will be achieved by creating a vegetation buffer zone around the camp. Tall
and fruit-bearing trees, which attract flying foxes, are to be removed from the
periphery of the reserve and low-growing natives planted in their place.
Native species will also be planted throughout the core of the camp to encourage
roosting in the centre.
In addition, exotic weeds are to be cleared from the area to aid the growth of
The ultimate goal is a screen of native vegetation around the perimeter of the
camp that discourages bat occupation, reduces noise and odour levels by limiting
air movement, but enhances the visual amenity of the area for the residents.
The first stage of the plan – due to begin in mid-May and go on until October –
involves the clearing of specific trees from the periphery of the creek reserve
area and private properties adjoining the reserve.
In addition, under-storey weed control will be carried out and infill planting
of trees in and around the centre of the flying fox camp.
The work itself can only be carried out at the end of the breeding season. The
timetable had to be postponed as there was a late season this year due to the
long periods of rain. DECC has recently advised Council that the breeding and
maternity season is at an end and work can begin in mid-May.