All Clear after controlled burns in Arklow forest block
#44 (In Topic #30)
Collie trails have recently had a controlled burn through the Arklow forest which affected both the main trails of dead cats and rays trail. Wellington DPAW have undertaken the task of making the trails safe by clearing and fallen trees by sending its workers out with chainsaws and heavy machinery .
Before the controlled burn DEPaW were able to do a hiegene study to help with the planning of future trail network, this was necessary because if it had not been done before the burn, it could be up to 4 years before before the necessary vegetation grew back to show the indicative species of dieback affected areas.
Several log rides on Rays trail were destroyed in the burn along with some other features. However this is only a temporary setback for what is accepted as a necessary process or reducing the fuel load. Regular trail building and maintenance days will now return to normal, now that we have the all clear from DEPaW to continue with trail work.
Riding Rays trail looks black and parched from a strong fire. Its easy to see the lay of the land and the hill side into the distance, with the smell of burnt trees still strong in the air. The next phase will be the trees shedding a lot of leaves over the next month or more as they suffer from the stress of the fire. The falling leaves will be a nucience untill the trees start to recover, from which time a full regeneration of the whole lanscape will over the next 12 months
Work on the trails will now move its focus on the the new trail around the gravel pit after finishing the dogleg section on Rays trail. The Gravel Pit trail is designed as a clover leaf to bring riders back to the parking area several times during a lap. It is intended this trail will become a race trail for future races and maximise the open areas of the gravel pit for parking and camping facilities. with the concept planning and heigene studies finished for this area, we expect building phase to ramp up in the near future.
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