Plants to hide unpopular fence

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Picture: Laurie Benson
Camera IconPicture: Laurie Benson Credit: Albany Advertiser

Strawberry Hill’s unpopular new fence on Middleton Road will soon be partly obscured by native bush six months after it was installed, according to the National Trust.

Volunteers this week began clearing bush around the silver fence at the entrance to the 192-year-old farm, where native plants will be placed.

National Trust, which is responsible for the site, said it hoped the new plants would grow in and around the fence over winter and leave only the yellow name visible.

When the new fence was installed, locals expressed disappointment that it had not been made of wood like its predecessor.

The fence regrowth had been predicted to begin covering the fence by early 2019.

The planting was funded through a $191,000 grant from the State Government to upgrade facilities as it prepares for Albany’s bicentenary in 2026.

Potential developments included a new glass conservatory at the farm site, as well as hopes for future outdoor events.

The venue — WA’s oldest farm — has also had a website overhaul and joined Facebook, which volunteer co-ordinator Judy Williams, pictured, said had boosted 2019 visitor numbers.

However, Ms Williams said there had been setbacks — thieves are alleged to have stolen 30 trees from the farm’s orchard in two years, undoing volunteers’ work.

“We started with 41 heritage trees, now we’re down to 11,” she said. “The first year I was co-ordinator we lost 20, then this year we’ve lost 10.”

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