Natural Resource Management

The Shire of Denmark features a remarkable array of landscapes, seascapes and waterways, which support a unique range of flora and fauna and are integral to the Denmark community’s way of life.

Coastal Management

The Shire of Denmark has a coastline covering 84 km. The majority of this land is contained within Conservation Reserves or National Parks, managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The Shire manages four coastal reserves, located at:

  • Ocean Beach (614 ha);
  • Parry Beach (223 ha);
  • Boat Harbour (59 ha); and,
  • Peaceful Bay (83 ha).

The Shire’s management of its coastal reserves is detailed in the Coastal Reserves Management Strategy and Action Plan 2010 – 2020. The plan prioritises management recommendations for all four Shire coastal reserves for environmental protection, rehabilitation and future landuses over the next ten years. The plan can be viewed at the link below.

Ocean Beach and Peaceful Bay Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (2018)

Coastal hazard risk management and adaptation planning is an integral part of decision-making for sustainable development and land use in the coastal zone. The State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6: State Coastal Planning Policy, supports a risk-management approach and provides a framework for undertaking coastal hazard risk management and adaptation planning for coastal hazards in Western Australia.

The Shire’s Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan (CHRMAP) addresses coastal hazards for two coastal areas:

  • Ocean Beach: An east facing high-energy beach adjacent to the mouth of the Wilson Inlet. This is the main recreational beach for the town of Denmark.
  • Peaceful Bay: A settlement in the west of the Shire with a sheltered pocket beach (Peaceful Bay) and a longer eroding sandy beach to the east (Foul Bay). Facilities are used by locals, holiday makers and commercial fishers.

The CHRMAP addresses:

  • Identification and assessment of coastal hazards
  • Establishing the context of coastal asset values and community expectations
  • Risk assessment of the potential impact of coastal hazards upon coastal assets
  • Adaptation planning for both short term (ten year) and long term (100 year) planning horizons

Ten-year foreshore concept plans for Ocean Beach and Peaceful Bay were developed in conjunction with the CHRMAP, and reflect the community’s aspirations for future development and land use, balanced with the need for coastal hazard adaptation. The plan can be viewed in the Coastal Documents link below.

“Code Off Road” – A guide to safe and environmentally responsible coastal 4WD use

South Coast NRM, in partnership with South Coast Management Group, has produced a series of practical maps guiding recreational 4WD use on our coast. The guides cover Denmark, Albany, Bremer Bay, Hopetoun and Esperance and delivers key messages regarding safe and environmentally responsible 4WD drive use, as well as coastal maps. For more information, see the Denmark Code Off Road brochure .

Coastal Documents

Ocean Beach & Peaceful Bay Coastal Hazard Risk Management & Adaptation Plan 2018 -Report

Ocean Beach & Peaceful Bay Coastal Hazard Risk Management & Adaptation Plan 2018 -Appendices

Code of Conduct for Off-Road Driving brochure

Conserving Marine and Coastal Areas Around Denmark brochure

Shire of Denmark Coastal Reserves Management Strategy and Action Plan 2010 – 2020

Website links

Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6 and Coastal Hazard Risk Management and Adaptation Plan guidelines 

Shire of Denmark Reserves

There are 121 Shire reserves located within and vested with the Shire of Denmark. 41 reserves are for community oriented services such as drainage, emergency services sites and communications. The remaining 80 reserves have some degree of natural resource management (NRM) input required in order to maintain biodiversity and environmental values. The purpose of these 80 reserves ranges from Conservation, Public Recreation, Parkland Management and resource extraction (gravel and sand). Of these 80 reserves, 12 are classed as A-Class Reserves which secures a higher level of protection of the natural and/or community values.

Friends of Reserves Groups

The Shire of Denmark greatly values the contributions of volunteers undertaking NRM actions in bushland, coastal and foreshore reserves vested with the Shire of Denmark and encourages residents who would like to take an active role in reserve management to start their own Friends of Reserve Group. The Shire has developed a Friends of Reserves Strategy to assist these groups and aims to ensure that volunteer bush care activities are undertaken safely and consistent with NRM objectives. Contact the Shire’s Sustainability Officer on phone 9848 0313 if you are interested in forming your own Friends Group or see the documents below.

Reserves Documents

Springdale Beach Foreshore Management Plan

Shire of Denmark Reserves Presentation

Conserving Denmark's Terrestrial Environment brochure

Forming Friends of Reserves Groups brochure

Shire of Denmark Friends of Reserves Strategy (2010)

Shire of Denmark Wilson Inlet Foreshore Reserves Management Plan (2008)

Mount Hallowell Reserve Management Plan (2008)

Shire of Denmark Declared Flora Roads Management Plan (2012)

Code of Practice for Roadside Conservation and Maintenance (2012)

State-Managed Reserves

The Shire of Denmark contains a number of national parks, marine parks, conservation parks and nature reserves which are managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. These areas can have significance at an international, national, regional and local scale and are important for their biodiversity values, heritage value and tourism. State-managed reserves within the Shire of Denmark includes:

  • William Bay National Park
  • Mount Lindesay National Park
  • Walpole-Nornalup National Park
  • Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park
  • Quarram Nature Reserve
  • Kordabup Nature Reserve

State-Managed Reserves Documents

William Bay National Park Recreation Master Plan

Wilson Inlet

Denmark’s wetland environments are extensive and unique. Frogs, reptiles and birds that live in these areas rely on wetlands for survival. Wetland systems in the Shire of Denmark include Parry Inlet, Irwin Inlet, Owingup Swamp and Wilson Inlet.

The Shire liaises with catchment land users to ensure a landscape-wide management approach and provides funding and support to community groups and management bodies regarding wetland management and on-ground activities such as fencing and revegetation works of waterways. The Shire also has a dam construction policy which prohibits riparian vegetation clearing (see Town Planning Scheme 3 Policy No.37: Dams and Water Features), to ensure continued protection of our waterways and wetland areas.

Wilson Inlet is one of 118 sites of International Significance for migratory and resident shore-birds in Australia. Swamp Woodland, including stands of freshwater paper bark (Melaleuca preissiana), form an important habitat around the banks of the Wilson Inlet. The vegetation, including rushes, sedges and paperbarks found in swampy areas around the inlet are essential for filtering fertilisers, nutrients and other pollutants from storm water runoff and for protecting against erosion. Migratory wading birds, such as the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), rely on the wetlands as important feeding areas. Yellow-Billed Spoon Bills (Platalea fiavipes) patrol the shallow waters of Wilson Inlet using the vibration detectors on their spatulate bill to feel for prey items and feed by day or night.

Wilson Inlet Management

The Department of Water (DoW) is the lead agency for the coordination and delivery of outcomes in water quality and quantity, estuarine and catchment management in priority areas of WA, including Wilson Inlet. Legislatively, the Department’s head powers are provided by the Water Agencies Power Act 1984, while the primary legislative powers for waterway management in Wilson Inlet is via the Waterways Conservation Act 1976 and the Rights In Water and Irrigation Act 1914.

Effective delivery of this activity relies on working partnerships with a range of Government and community stakeholders in the coordination and delivery of estuary, catchment and waterway management. The Shire of Denmark is a key stakeholder in management of the Inlet: it provides Government with information on community wishes and adds value to management through community input into agency decisions and ensuring the community is made aware of Government initiatives relating to the Inlet.

Waterways Documents

Conserving the Wetlands of Denmark brochure

Migratory and Resident Shorebirds of Wilson Inlet poster

Wilson Inlet Management Strategy 2013 - 2022

Wilson Inlet Sandbar opening protocol

Irwin Inlet Sandbar opening protocol

Parry Inlet Sandbar opening protocol

Wilson Inlet Management of Sandbar Opening Decision Tool

Website Links:

Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation - river water level monitoring for the Denmark River at the Old Railway Bridge

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation - water licensing

Approved Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) Reserves and Parks Management Plans