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Forestville Park Ovals

azsthj's picture

By azsthj - Posted on 20 February 2015

A bit lost yesterday trying to find Gahnia I ended up on the far side of Forestville Park’s (Ferretville) second oval. One of the club members I know was mowing and waved me around the edge of the oval. That night a Ferret director was at my place and mentioned that the club feel that bikes riding across the oval, on the one track, are doing damage.

Agree with this or not, we should probably not ride across the ovals for “good neighbourly relations”. The long grass has now been cut so it’s easy to ride around the oval’s edge.

Saw a brown snake on the Bluff Track last week, seen lots of red bellies in the area, including in my back yard, but this was the first brown.... which woke me up.

Daisy's picture

I've been guilty of riding across the oval but will ride around from no on.
It would be ideal to have a sign where the trail comes out at oval to ensure we keep a good relationship between footy club & mtb'ers.

BT's picture

I've been wondering when this issue would come up. There's a distinct line that's formed going across that oval that leads from the bottom of the Austrian Enduro, to the road that takes you down to Serrata. There's also another one forming on the oval at Ararat Reserve - the one that you cross from the Dam to get to Gahnia.

Will ride around from now on.

pommygit's picture

Club may get cranky if it continues & report the problem to council.

With it being a NPWS project affecting council property it could get out of hand, with the MTB community being the problem.

Why not approach the council inform them of the potential issue and explain it has been dealt with by asking bike riders to stay off the pitch.

Don't mean to be an ass, but the ferret director has access to the net and may read this post, best keep them on side and not insult them.


davo29er's picture

The last time I checked a council parks sign of banned activities, riding bikes was not one of them.

spindog's picture

how would you feel if another group came in and trashed your trails?
these playing fields have been the home of the Forrestville Ferrets (a.k.a Ferretville) for more than 40yrs.
we're "johnny come lateleys" so have a little sensitivty and lets get along with the neighbours and ride around the edge of the playing fields and not across the middle! Eye-wink

davo29er's picture

I can play soccer on it or fly my kite. I can even practice my fly fishing.
It is a public park. I may even try running laps around it.
My point is why are we always playing the victim?
If the council has a problem with the grass surfaces then they need to lift their game.
Any sports club will have an interest in "their" grounds but the reality is they are for everyone to use.
I do agree however that it would be bad form to ride across the oval during a game.
As for trashing trails, I find that it is done mostly by other mtbers dumbing down the trail but that's another argument.

hawkeye's picture

... I had formed the view the southern one had been abandoned from use?

* Long grass
* Weeds aplenty
* Saturated along one side to the point if being unusable seemingly for weeks at a time after rain due to drainage and water table issues
* From hazy memory, goal posts in not so great condition

Glad to hear that maybe I'm wrong but last time I rode through the grass along this "trail" a few weeks ago it was still long and unkempt. The field still looked like it wasn't being used and was only being mowed occasionally just to keep the weeds at bay. Maybe this is why the ridden line stands out so much?

It didn't look like it was in playable condition at all. The one on the other side receives a lot more love and attention.

So something doesn't quite gel here - if there was a real issue I'd expect to see them taking better care of the community asset entrusted to them.

A suggestion could be made to the Ferrets to makw a line off the pitch much more attractive by keeping it closely mowed so that it is easier to pedal through and on firm ground.

This is something within their remit that is easy to do.

Our ability to control what people do is by contrast very limited as most of the riding population don't even know about this site.

danielschipper's picture

With regards to Ararat reserve this is fair enough as it is used constantly for training and playing. Perhaps some signage to direct people around the outside could help.

But for Forestville park I think the Ferrets are making a mountain out of, well a flat area of grass. Well before Gahnia I've been using this trail to cut through to Manly Dam and the Bluff trail; both walking and riding. There has been a bike / walkers lane on this 'oval' for at least 8 years that I know of. I have also never seen any sport or training on this part of the park and pass through the park at least once a fortnight all through the year. The area is not under lights so is not used for winter training. The other oval is absolutely used, is in great condition but there should be no issue with bikes as there is no reason for bikes to cross the oval.

About a year ago while a guy was moving and asked me not to ride on the line. When I asked why and suggested the oval was never used he said they were trying to get it back into a condition where it can be used.... A year later and still no use.

If this were an oval that was being used, even just for a few months of the year then I'd say fair enough. But it has NEVER been used in almost a decade!! As riding around the outside of this flat grass section it is sludge on both sides after a bit of rain.

But after saying all that a thought has come to me and I think I'll go take a look to see if Austrain Enduro can be diverted around the Oval to pop out closer down to the Currie road Enterance.... After all there can never be enough single trail Smiling

danielschipper's picture

just went for a walk and a bypass is easily achievable.

This land used to be a tip and is all Forestville Park, so no national park issues. Behind the oval there is a relatively flat and clear section with heaps of old bricks that form the back of the old tip. The other areas of bush are relatively clear due to the fires that went through 18 months ago.

In short it's ripe for a link trail to take riders off the oval and the impact on the bushland would be virtually nothing. Exit would be about 2/3 down towards the drainage holding pond.


hawkeye's picture

Let's do it.

ahein's picture

I'm in

Brenos's picture

Yeah there is a nasty single track straight through the middle of that oval. I will ride around the perimeter from now on.
Back in my junior years of playing footy that oval was never used for footy, always had 2 foot grass and is known for the highest rate of paralysis ticks, still is. Good idea to check for ticks after riding through there.

Blucky's picture

A Google Maps file for the Bantry Bay area which I downloaded from this site, suggests that the trail called Austrian Enduro is "Closed". Can anyone fill me in on the facts / history of this piece of track ?


VTSS350's picture

I cant say I have seen it used for footy in years and years!!

They stupidly put up a fence that actually pushes us towards the centre of the oval.

Seriously if they want us to ride around it how about helping us to do so?? They could fix the fence so that it directs us to the outside and they could also put done some dirt or crushed granite so we have something to ride on other than over grown grass!

azsthj's picture

Hi Blucky, there are a few tracks that go through that area, one of which is appears to be the closed track. There are Aboriginal carvings in the area and one of the tracks goes across them. This track now has no bike signs up but the Austrian Enduro goes around the area so I assume is OK to ride?

Hi VTSS350. There is a track through the bush, around the high side of the oval now.

hawkeye's picture

Austrian Enduro is OK as a short term solution. I have heard NPWS are tolerating it as it does, as you say, go around the carvings.

Warringah Council's plan is to close the part of the trail that goes over their land long term, but they need to get off their arses and provide a meaningful alternative.

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