Improvements to Hanging Rock funded by Council and state and federal governments are well underway.
The projects will upgrade the ageing infrastructure at Hanging Rock and enhance the overall visitor experience at this popular natural attraction.
Work is underway on several environmental initiatives that focus on conserving and enhancing Hanging Rock Reserve and the East Paddock.
Funding for this project includes:
- $2 million from Regional Development Australia
- More than $2 million from Council ($1.038 million of which is in-kind land and project management)
- $30,000 from the Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club
- $21,000 from the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.
East picnic ground shelters
The construction of two new picnic shelters with toilets, barbecues, seating and car parking in the East Paddock has been completed.
The shelters are part of a long term vision to provide facilities to encourage picnicking and events in the East Paddock and reduce pressure on areas near the rock.
Landscaping works and the planting of more than 1,500 trees are underway to provide increased habitat for wildlife and contribute to conserving biodiversity as part of Council’s Environment Management Plan for Hanging Rock.
Council will also undertake landscaping works at the viewing mound and small amphitheatre.
Power and lighting
Power supply to the East Paddock as well as lighting, water and power distribution infrastructure have now been installed.
Lighting improvements and electrical upgrades to the main reserve have also been completed.
Now in its third year, this four year agreement ($250,000 per annum) between Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will deliver upgrades to visitor facilities at Hanging Rock. The funding is being used for toilet and building refurbishments, road and path upgrades, and environmental works.
Works completed in the first two years of the agreement include:
- Resurfacing of roads behind the Discovery Centre and to the main shelter car park
- Installation of rabbit proofing under buildings and other control works
- Refurbishment of the main toilet block, incorporating a new accessible toilet and a family friendly toilet
- Refurbishment of the toilet block near the crossing into the race track
- Environmental works such as rabbit and weed control and tree maintenance.
Activities now underway in third year of the agreement include:
- Implementation of Environmental Management Plan actions and tree works
- Path works
- Two toilet block refurbishments, one of which has been completed.
The Environmental Management Plan and Fire Management Plan for Hanging Rock was completed and endorsed by Council in December 2015.
The plan provides direction and priorities for environmental and conservation works at the Reserve including the East Paddock.
The development of the plan involved extensive consultation with local residents, relevant stakeholders, community groups, State Government, Council and feedback from the wider community. Implementation of the plan is underway.
September 2019 update
The preservation and ongoing improvement of environmental values at Hanging Rock Reserve have been progressing steadily since the adoption of the reserve wide environmental management plan with a wide range of environmentally focussed works being undertaken throughout the reserve.
The environmental works include weed control across the entire reserve, pest animal control, targeted fauna surveys, ongoing flora monitoring and extensive revegetation aimed at increasing diversity and cover of mid storey and ground storey species to minimise erosion and delineate areas dedicated to conservation from the public use areas of the reserve. Over 17,000 trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted in the last three years with more revegetation planned for the coming year.
Particular focus for the first half of 2019 has been the establishment of tree protection zones around many of the large significant canopy trees throughout the reserve in order to increase the longevity of these trees.
An ecological consultant has been engaged to prepare a management plan to inform on ground management of the racecourse grassland area with the reserve. The racecourse grassland is considered to be of high ecological significance with the preparation of the grassland management plan a key recommendation within the environmental management plan.
There will be an opportunity to comment on the final draft of the plan in the coming weeks.