Tree removal contractors started work at Black Gully this week on creating a 15-metre-wide buffer zone between homes and the site of the previous flying fox camp.
It followed the adoption of a management plan by Armidale Regional Council at July’s Ordinary Meeting, which enabled council to take actions to reduce the impact on residents should the camp return.
Mayor Simon Murray said while there was no way of knowing if the flying foxes would return the buffer was expected to go a long way to reducing their impact if they did.
He said council took advice on the matter from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and Ecosure, and the management plan was a staged approach combining education and awareness with assistance to residents to reduce impacts.
“To assist residents who have already liaised with council to identify trees for removal on their property, council is waiving the $125 tree removal fee and has set a aside a subsidy and camp management fund of up to $50,000,” Cr Murray said.
He said OEH would not approve the use of colony dispersal methods until all other measures had failed, and that dispersal of colonies was expensive and rarely successful.