Restoring the Beleura Cliff Path
The Friends of the Beleura Cliff Path have a large area to look after ... or rather a long area … the path is about 750 metres and takes about 45 minutes to amble over its scenic offerings, overlooking Port Phillip Bay. It’s an iconic scenic walk that leads from Caraar Creek Lane down to the north end of Mills Beach, Mornington.
The history of the Beleura Cliff Path is deeper and more ancient. Archaeological evidence suggests the Bunurong people have enjoyed these views over Port Phillip Bay for over 10,000 years.
It’s an historic path, cut with pick and shovel between 1916 and 1923 for the public to use, and is famous for its serene views of the cliffs, rocks and sea.
These days, the path is an environmentally important area, acting as a wildlife corridor and an area of remnant coastal scrub.
In recent years the path had fallen into various states of disrepair and the problem of erosion had reached critical. Furthermore, the soil on the shoulder of the path had eroded in many places which led to a dangerous domino effect of unsupported asphalt, an unearthing of concrete posts and unsteady handrails.
Recognising the issue, the Friends’ group are revegetating the area to restabilise the topsoil and prevent further erosion.
But the reality is that many seedlings planted on the dry, wind-swept edges die straight away, or fail to survive their first summer. Harnessing people power, the group made small ‘terraces’ using sleepers and star-pickets to hold soil and mulch, and catch rainwater. These temporary fixtures are designed to hold the soil and mulch in place for 5-10 years until the plants are established.
To date, the friends’ group has planted around 650 seedlings that are nurtured by generous neighbours who offered to supply water through a low-pressure hose along parts of the top bank.
The effort has resulted in a total of 250 metres of previously eroded sections of the path that is now enjoying significant revitalisation.