Ku-ring-gai Council appreciates that many mountain bike riders love the bush and actively seek to protect and preserve it. Unfortunately, unauthorised bike track construction can damage our bushland and the natural environment in several ways.
Watch the Ride Lightly videos from the Save our Species campaign.
Exploring our beautiful bush while appreciating and protecting the amazing threatened species that exist nowhere else in the world.
Removing living and dead vegetation, moving rocks and digging in the soil can result in accelerated erosion. On steep slopes, recently burnt land, and near creeks, even minor disturbances can remove topsoil, which our native plants grow in and congests our waterways with sediment.
Tracks fragment the bushland they’re built in, interrupting the ecological process. With too many tracks, some plants and animals can disappear from the area.
Bikes carry in weed seeds stuck to tyres. Track construction creates the perfect places on track edges for disturbance-loving weeds to establish, outcompeting native vegetation.
Our bushland has a remarkable ability to recover from disturbances, but it relies on seeds stored in the soil. This seedbank can take over thirty years to establish and acts as an insurance against bushfire, drought, and other events. Movement and soil erosion can mean that the seedbank gets buried or washed away, with the land unable to recover in the future.
For example, where a fire has passed through, the seedbank is germinating and tiny seedlings are establishing themselves. They are extremely sensitive to track construction, as plants have not yet matured or replenished the seedbank. Many species are lost from areas where one disturbance follows soon after another.
17 threatened plants and 29 threatened animal species continue to survive in Ku-ring-gai. Some are only found deep in our bushland reserves, while others can be found in suburban parks and patches of remnant vegetation. Plants are damaged by track-building through removal, pruning, injury to their roots, and compaction or erosion of soil.
Animal habitats are also affected by altering the vegetation structure, changing how water moves down the catchment and removing plant species that animals rely upon.
Any unauthorised bike track built in Ku-ring-gai’s bushland areas could be impacting threatened species.
How you can help
- Keep on fire trails and authorised tracks such as Warrimoo and Jubes.
- Ensure your bike is clean and there is no soil or weeds stuck on tyres.
- Maintain good etiquette on tracks, give way to pedestrians and use a warning bell.
- Do not create new tracks through our precious bushland.
Volunteer for Trailcare
Trailcare volunteers work on tracks and trails to assist with maintenance and community stewardship. They assist with trail maintenance, rock-armoring, trail auditing, rubbish removal, weeding, minor landscaping works and some sediment and erosion control.
Register and find out more.
Contact the Environment & Sustainability Team firstname.lastname@example.org or 9424 0000.