Plan in development to protect rare natural landscape
CALEDON, ON, May 4, 2015 /CNW/ - At the end of May, a protective fence will be erected along Olde Baseline Road in the Town of Caledon, temporarily closing the Cheltenham Badlands to visitors – while a long-term plan guiding future conservation and public access to the site is under development.
The striking landscape of the Cheltenham Badlands is one of Ontario's geological treasures and is one of the best examples of Badland topography in the province. Over the years, its distinctive landscape has been attracting increasing numbers of visitors, resulting in accelerated erosion of the sensitive red shale surface and permanently changing its unique appearance.
The protective fence is an interim measure to stop further damage to the Badlands while a Master Plan is being developed. As required under the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Master Plan will address public safety improvements, guide long-term conservation activities and explore options for public enjoyment of the Badlands. An environmental consultant will begin work on the Master Plan this summer, which will take several years to develop and implement.
Temporary closure of the Badlands will not affect sections of the Bruce Trail running through other areas of the property, which will remain open to hikers. The property features 1.4 km of the optimum route of the Bruce Trail.
The Cheltenham Badlands is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust, which works with a group of partners to manage the property, including the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Region of Peel, the Town of Caledon, the Caledon Hills Bruce Trail Club, the Caledon Countryside Alliance, the Caledon Environmental Advisory Committee, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Credit Valley Conservation.
- The exposed bedrock at the Cheltenham Badlands is Queenston Shale; this iron-rich shale was deposited over 445 million years ago.
- Due to removal of vegetation during land clearing and livestock grazing in the early 1900s, the shale has eroded into a series of hummocks and gullies, producing the distinctive landscape.
- Today, the Cheltenham Badlands is recognized as a provincially significant Earth Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.
- Find out how you can help to conserve the Cheltenham Badlands, including opportunities to participate in public consultations as part of the Master Planning process, at www.heritagetrust.on.ca/badlands.
- To make a donation to support work being done at the Badlands, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca/donations.
- For questions about the Badlands, contact the Ontario Heritage Trust at 416-325-5000 or [email protected].
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.
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SOURCE Ontario Heritage Trust
For further information: For media inquiries, contact Catrina Colme at 416-325-5074 or [email protected]