Roads aren’t just roads [2]

The reason we started the last post by stating the obvious is that, maybe, the obvious is not so obvious.

On glancing through 1998 Roadsides Management Strategy we came across this sentence, referring to machinery working on roadsides: ‘Blades on slashers should be set no lower than 100 mm above the ground.’ How obvious is that? Scalping of roadsides is generally frowned upon: an argument we put to DELWP when they scalped the Fryers Ridge road two years ago.  They weren’t impressed.

Fryers Ranges road after scalping, 2015. Understorey was completely destroyed, to improve sightlines for fire trucks.

The roadsides in question are struggling to revive, though our impression is that the main regeneration is not of the destroyed ground covers, but of eucalypts. Given that the aim of the exercise was [we’re told] to clear sight lines for fire vehicles, replacing low plants with trees on the road edge doesn’t seem like a great idea to us…

The same stretch of road two years later: scalping has favoured regeneration of eucalypts, the very plant likely to obscure sightlines for drivers. Understorey has struggled to return.

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