Arborists disagree on impact of shared path construction on Cronulla figs

Construction of a shared path and kerbs and gutters in Hume Road Cronulla. Picture: John Veage
Construction of a shared path and kerbs and gutters in Hume Road Cronulla. Picture: John Veage

A new shared path being built next to Cronulla Golf Course has been designed to ensure minimal impact on a line of big fig trees, Sutherland Shire Council says.

The assurance conflicts with concerns raised by an arborist, who contacted the Leader after seeing the work in Hume Road in December.

The arborist, who did not wish to be named, said the trees had previously benefited from rainfall seeping into the ground.

That water would now wash into gutters and be lost to the environment, he said.

The arborist said it was also inevitable roots would be cut, which would affect the health of the trees.

The shared path is being built on the tree-lined, northern side of Hume Road, Cronulla. Picture: Google Maps

The shared path is being built on the tree-lined, northern side of Hume Road, Cronulla. Picture: Google Maps

A council spokeswoman said the road construction project included the provision of kerbs and gutters on the northern side of Hume Road between Kurnell Road and Wyanbah Road.

"In addition, a shared pathway is being constructed within the footpath area as part of council's ongoing commitment to providing a comprehensive bicycle network throughout Sutherland Shire," she said.

"A council arborist has been involved in the planning of this project to ensure minimal impact on surrounding trees, including nearby fig trees.

"The works will not only prevent vehicles from driving and parking on the roots, which causes compaction and restricts the ability for water and air to reach the root systems, but the pathway will sit at least 100mm above the existing surface to reduce the impact on any roots and has been designed such that rainfall will drain towards the figs.

"Only a portion of the nature strip will be concreted, the remainder will contain topsoil and mulch in the areas adjacent to the figs."