Is a fence just another conquest for trophy hunters?
At some of our most beautiful landscapes throughout the world, Parks and Wildlife services in charge of the long term maintenance of the sites have erected fences for our safety, to protect flora and fauna and in some cases to ensure we know where the paths are. But have the fences just become another conquest for visitors to conquier?
Its as though its OMG there is a fence! lets go climb it. I can remember as a child not being told to climb that tree, so what would we do?… climb the tree!; when or if we fell out of the tree and injured ourselves I can remember being told “you see, I told you not to and look what happened!” So if we grew out of that as kids, why are so many doing it now?
So its as though it is reverse physchology. “Tell someone they can do anything and they won't know what to do. Tell someone what they can’t do and they’ll know exactly what they want to do.” - Humans. Perhaps that is exactly the point, put a fence up and its like waving a red flag to a bull. So what if there was no fence?
Along the Great Ocean Road the sandstone and limestone cliffs are some of the most spectacular in the country, but the weather and waves for the Southern Ocean is slowing wearing them down, so much so the once Twelve Apostles, which was only ever nine, only four remain. But new caves are being formed every year. The caves then become arches, which in turn eventually collapse.
Exploring the Great Ocean Road, going to popular destinations and also the little know spots you can see that there has been in the last 6 months slippage of the cliffs, so why climb out to the edge of the cliffs? you could never ever see if there was a cave underneath what you are standing on.
I took some friends with me to the Great Ocean Road, and they were astounded at how many people we saw climbing the barriers, walking off tracks, and the number of drones in the sky. They understand the project, but not the mentality from the visitors point of view. An important question that was raised and perhaps I was unaware of was, so what happens when someone dies? who will be to blame then? Human nature is to blame others, but how can you blame other when your loved one climbed the fence?
I won’t try and hide away from the truth, in 2016 at The Grotto, I climbed the fence, walked through the cave/arch and walked out onto a ledge. I am not a selfie person, but I took a “professional selfie”, me and the landscape. Would I do that now? NO!
I think in 2016, I was new to photography and it was the mentality that I had seen photos and I probably didn’t really understand the risks. I wanted the shot… But I get that now. Was it waving a red flag to a bull, well it wasn’t for InstaFame it was I wanted a profile image. Would I have done it if I knew more, probably not.
I understand where people are coming from, I was in that spot a few times early on, but with awareness would I do it now.. No.