Nature on council agenda

NATURE will be high on the agenda at tomorrow's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting.

The city's new regional community garden and protection of the little tern breeding colony at Willis Creek near Hearnes Lake are two items for councillors to consider when they gather for the meeting at 5pm.

Roaming dogs have become a significant problem for the little tern breeding area at Willis Creek but Woolgoolga's Back Beach is currently an off-leash area for dogs.

Councillors will be asked to confirm their support for granting a licence to the Coffs Regional Community Gardens Incorporated Association for the development of a garden on a site off Combine Street.

If approved by the Minister for Local Government, the community gardeners will be able to use the site for five years.

Work is expected to start immediately on the garden as soon as approval is granted, with funds provided by the NSW Government's Environmental Trust.

Staff is asking councillors to approve a change to the Companion Animals Management Plan and associated maps to protect the endangered ground-nesting birds.

If approved, the change will mean that dogs must be on a leash in this area between October 1 and February 1 each year.

Only 16 chicks were fledged at the site last year, well down on previous years.

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