Last month the Essential Environmental team headed up north for an escapade to visit the seaside town of Lancelin. Lancelin is approximately 130 km north of Perth and is located within the Shire of Gingin.
The site investigation was in aid of a project undertaken to provide environmental information to support the rezoning of a site for a proposed caravan park.
Tourism and recreation in the Lancelin area both rely on natural resources, in particular on the quality of the coastal environments. The proximity of Lancelin to Perth makes the town an attractive destination for city residents seeking short holidays and so the transient population is significant. The population of coastal towns such as Lancelin doubles or more during holiday periods, with subsequent pressures upon local facilities.
Water sports such as surfing, boating, swimming and windsurfing are all popular for both visitors and local residents. Recreational fishers are also attracted by the abundance and diversity of marine life. The coastline and dune systems around Lancelin are accessed for a range of recreational activities, including walking and off-road vehicle driving. However, the collective human impact has become evident on the sensitive and shifting coast in the form of blow-outs (such as those widely recognised at Wedge Island resulting from 4WDs) and degraded vegetation.
The intrepid explorers spent the day traipsing under the sun over dunes and marram grass, taking notes and pictures of the landforms, vegetation and wildlife, the results of which were to form the basis of our reporting. A quick meal of fish and chips at the local pub was obligatory.
The locals were clearly notified of our arrival as a pod of whales was spotted playing out past Edward Island for the duration of our visit. Unfortunately they were too far away for a decent photograph but Shelley did manage to capture Bob the lizard while he was out for his afternoon stroll.