The founder of WA bushwalking website WalkGPS, Dave Osborne, has recently announced the relaunch of his site, while also making an impassioned call for local bushwalkers and other adventurers to make their voices heard.

Osborne first launched the WalkGPS site in 2003 and has since grown its offering to include 65 walks in over 20 parks and reserves near Perth.

Each walk is verified and tested by independent bushwalkers as well as members of Perth’s various walking clubs, Osborne said in a media release announcing the relaunch.

“The website aims to encourage the community to safely and responsibly discover the great wealth of opportunities for enjoyable bushwalking in the Darling Range close to Perth,” he explained.

The WalkGPS site does not operate for profit, with all expenses incurred by the site’s creation having been borne by its creator.

Osborne has also taken the opportunity to call on bushwalkers in the region to make themselves heard in order to better protect their natural heritage.

“The demand for quality bushwalks and the growth potential of local bushwalking is under recognised,” Osborne said. “There are few developed, quality bushwalking circuit trails near Perth.

“The popular Eagle’s View Trail in John Forrest NP and the shorter Numbat Trail in the privately-owned Paruna Sanctuary in the Avon Valley are today the only two developed trails that offer bushwalkers day circuit walks of good length and quality in the Darling Range [near Perth].”

On the other hand, the ability to create new walks or maintain current ones may be threatened due to ongoing changes to access restrictions, mining developments and illegal, off-road vehicle use.

“I urge all who have an interest in the future of local bushwalking, and/or issues affecting the amenity value of the parks and state forests close to Perth, and their conservation, to consider the opportunities and challenges,” Osborne said.