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Walking trails to boost island activity and health as well as tourism is back on the agenda on both Macleay and Russell Islands.

The concepts were conceived from local organisations on both islands several years ago.

Whilst most of the trails exist, they have never been properly identified for either island or visitor use.

Only a minimal amount of organising is required to see the trails up and running to their full potential.

With the recent announcement that the first stage of the Botanical Gardens project on Russell Island is now about to happen, the complimentary walking trails are perfectly situated to link in with positive island themes of island beauty, visitation, fitness and health.

The projects on both islands, along with the Botanical Gardens, will prove to be invaluable for future island growth and prosperity.

Bay Islands Conservation on Russell Island and the RKLM Heritage Group with the support of the Macleay Island Progress Association on Macleay Island originally identified the trail concepts and the advantages they could offer.

This was some years ago.

VISTA on Macleay and Bay Islands Conservation are interested parties today, as is new Division 5 Councillor Shane Rendalls.

The councillor told The Friendly Bay Islander: “Additional to the health benefits of walking, the island trails provide ready access to the natural beauty of our islands.

“They are an opportunity to relax and explore. 

“The trails are also a valuable eco-tourism opportunity for our mainland visitors. 

“With 731 types of native plant, 319 species of birds and a wide range of native animals on the land and in the sea, there is much to see.,” Cr Rendalls said.

He aded that it was important that the ‘signage and maintenance or our trails is maintained’ to ensure accessibility for all.

High quality maps of all the walking trails on both islands, have already been produced.

All the Russell Island trails are in place.

Just signage, location maps and regular maintenance of the tracks is all that is required to get then fully operational.

On Macleay Island, the Heritage Trail is mostly in place.

The only gap is at the end of Western Road where a special boardwalk link is required to reach and Eagle Street to Charles Terrace.

This has been a stumbling block for some time, with State Government approval required of the low-lying areas where a boardwalk could play a significant role.

Overtures will be made to Redlands MP Kim Richards in endeavour to make this happen.

Redland City Council would also need to list the boardwalks into a future budget.

Cr Rendalls said he would pursue the project ‘until it becomes a reality’.

He also will seek out Redland City Council operations to have appropriate signage for the trails on both islands.

VISTA have already put in place a plan to feature the Heritage Trail on that island on new signage adjacent to the Spar supermarket on Macleay Island.

• Cr Shane Rendalls on one of the beautiful trails located near Shore Street on Russell Island.



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