Trees facing the chop at beach caravan park
ARRAWARRA Beach Caravan Park resident Lorraine Mawhinney is horrified to think that scores of trees are going to be cleared this week.
"I could sit down and cry," the park resident of five years said.
"Thirty-one trees is an awful lot of trees to be removed from one site.
"These are perfectly healthy trees that are pruned regularly. We've had horrific storms here and it's been safe as houses."
Last week, Coffs Harbour City Council approved the removal of the trees, subject to strict conditions.
But the area, which has components of swamp sclerophyll forest ? an endangered ecological community ? is mapped as secondary koala habitat, and the hoary wattled bat has been seen there.
And Ms Mawhinney is concerned, not only for those, but for the large number of migratory birds she has seen using the area.
"These birds have come from such a long way," she said.
"And it's not just the migratory birds that use the trees, there are possums, owls, lots of other animals."
But the park owner said the trees needed to be removed to ensure the safety of campers and that due care would be taken to protect the wildlife.
"An ecologist with experience in fauna is spending three days watching the area to look for signs of wildlife and record what happens during the day and night," project manager David Guth said.
"We've marked out the trees that are going to be removed or have minor works done to them, then on Friday, the ecologist and a tree expert will inspect all the hollows of the various trees and if they find anything at the time, they'll mark it."
Mr Guth said nothing further would be done to marked trees until after WIRES had removed any wildlife found at the site, and that the same would apply for bird's nests.
But the wildlife is not Ms Mawhinney's only concern, saying she suspects the tree removal is being undertaken with future development plans in mind, something the park owners say is untrue.
"We have no plans other than running a caravan park," director Kevin Shanahan said.