Mount Alexander Shire is currently investigating the possibility of setting up an ‘off lead dog park’ at the north end of the Botanical Gardens, abutting Froome’s Road, and west of Barkers Creek. The idea of an off lead park in Castlemaine has quite a long history, and details of council deliberations can be found on the Council’s website, here, here and here.
The area would be provided with ‘a fully fenced perimeter, animal drinking water, selfclosing gates, shade, seating, rubbish bins and waste bag dispensers’. FOBIF believes that an off lead park is a good and common sense idea, but the location of the current proposal right next to the ‘bush’ section of the gardens gives cause for concern. Although the area is to be fenced, we’re worried that dogs might be able to get into the bush section, home to colonies of the Eltham Copper Butterfly. Perhaps more seriously, the area in question is known to have infestations of needle grass weeds, which could be spread on dog fur. Serious weed removal should obviously precede implementation of the park plan.
The proposal is well advanced, but is subject to various planning requirements. We’ll report on it in future posts.