Ugly fencing scars the landscape at Blackheath's duck pond: fix on way

Weed: The tree behind the fence was well over two metres tall. Photo by Pauline Conolly

Weed: The tree behind the fence was well over two metres tall. Photo by Pauline Conolly

For more than three years, Pauline Conolly has waited for council to fix a section of footpath that has subsided beside the duck pond in Blackheath’s Memorial Park.

It has been fenced off for so long a tree at least two metres tall had grown up inside the safety fence.

Shortly after Mrs Conolly complained about the eyesore on a Mountains Facebook page, the tree that had been growing inside the fence had been removed.

The hole, and the fence, however, remained.

“I mentioned it on the community site [Facebook page],” Mrs Conolly said. “The mayor contacted me immediately. He was wonderful – he said he would make sure something was done.

Blackheath duck pond: Pauline Conolly at the site where the tree was removed but the hole not fixed.

Blackheath duck pond: Pauline Conolly at the site where the tree was removed but the hole not fixed.

“Within days they removed that incriminating tree which has been growing up there for about three years. But that was the only thing they did – the hole is still there.”

She received an email from council, acknowledging that the hole, and safety fencing, had been there “a while” but it would have to “go on a list” before the path was repaired.

The email gave no time frame for any repair work.

Council’s media spokeswoman posted on the page on November 1 that a plate would be placed over the hole as a short-term solution. By early December, nothing had happened so Mrs Conolly contacted the Gazette.

The newspaper was told on December 4 that the footpath “will be fixed by the end of this week” by plugging the hole. A metal plate can’t be attached as there is a hollow under the broken path so there is nothing to fix a plate to.

But as the New Year dawned, the hole remained.

Mrs Conolly said she writes a blog which, among other things, extols the beauty of the Mountains.

“I do a lot of promotion of Blackheath. It really aggravates me that I’m telling people about how wonderful it in and they come up and see that. Surely it wouldn’t take them much time to put a plate over it, then the fencing could go.”

The pond is very popular, particularly with visitors who are staying at the caravan park across the road, Mrs Conolly said.