Our community can be grateful to the council and local member for the $2 million that has been promised for work on the Lake Inverell Reserve. This is not only a boost for our town’s community and economy in the short run but will be an ongoing asset that could attract people in the future who are inclined to move here. It is an example of the kind of action that may counter the over-concentration of people into Australia’s largest cities – we are already one of the most urbanized countries on earth.
And thinking just about Lake Inverell Reserve, notice the name – Lake Inverell Reserve. Many of us have heard that our town’s name, Inverell, means ‘meeting place of swans’ in Gelic.
Then there is that third part of the name, ‘Reserve’. There are very few other towns so fortunate as to have such an easily accessible, restful, natural area. And the place is well-used – it is quite rare not to see at least one car in the parking area.
There seems to be a constant, quiet stream of visitors from pre-schoolers to the quite old and sometimes groups making use of the picnic shelters or barbecues.It is a quiet, peaceful area with very nice views across the lake.
While it is good news that maintenance and improvements are being planned, it seems desirable that the essential character of the area be maintained to avoid the possibility of over-development. It is reassuring to see the world ‘tranquil’ being used in The Inverell Times’ front page report last Friday, September 14. Inverell is very well provided with sporting areas which sometimes attract crowds of people. However, we and no other place I can think of has anything to compare with the Lake Inverell Reserve.
READ MORE: $2.2 million project for Lake Inverell
In past years the Shire Council has actually succeeded in carrying out appropriate and sensitive works. These have included:
a) Excluding stock so that the lakeside has developed from an overgrazed, stony area with many, many thistles and quite a few blackberries.
b)Converting the original dirt track into the present access road.
c) Creating a parking area.
d) Providing facilities such as the toilet block and picnic shelters.
e) Establishing and surfacing a walking path that gives nice views over the lake without encroaching close to the foreshores which were reserved as habitat and so as not to unduly disturb the wildlife which people enjoy seeing (tortoises sometimes come ashore to lay their eggs).
f) Providing interpretive but unobtrusive signs.
As well as the above improvement to the original degraded area it is worth noting that some work has been done by volunteers including:
a) Tree planting along the southern and northern shores. These include the very attractive stand of river oaks near the shore where the walking track begins. One of the biggest plantings was in 1988 during Australia’s Bicentennial Year.
b)A bird-watching hide on the southern shore
c) The painted sign in the parking area
d) The water diversion and absorption drain north of the facilities area
e) Digging a channel to form Langley’s Island forming an area free of foxes so that water birds may possibly nest.
A final point to note about the reserve in general is that the vegetation within it and the national park west of it, is a remnant of the ‘white box woodland’ which is an indicator of fertile soils to the European pioneers and of which 95 per cent has been cleared in the NSW.
We can be grateful to Mr Marshall and our council for arranging what seems to be a very useful contribution to our town and district. I hope the above points are relevant and of some use in the plans that are being made.