20,000 People Sign Petition To Relocate Harry Potter Forbidden Forest Experience On The Mornington Peninsula

A Harry Potter experience is facing backlash from locals on the Mornington Peninsula, with more than 20,000 people signing a petition to have the event relocated.

The Harry Potter Forbidden Forest Experience plans to take over part of The Briars Sanctuary at Mount Martha, to be transformed into a replica of the fictional world from April 6.

However, locals have campaigned that the event will negatively impact the habitat, which is home to about 400 species of native animals.

It is expected that 3,000 people will attend the event each night, which will negatively affect owls in the area, according to Gidja Walker, local ecologist and president of the Southern Peninsula Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association.

Speaking to, Walker said it is ironic the owl, which is a central part of the Harry Potter franchise, could face potential harm by this event.

A lot of fans would be horrified to hear it is affecting the powerful owls,' she said, adding the generators, cables, and path would damage previously untouched areas of the sanctuary.

Walker added another part of the sanctuary, which contains European trees, would be better suited.

"All they have to do is move it and get into it with community support," she said.

The Mornington Shire Council has a FAQ on their website about the event, which states "the potential impacts to the owl have been carefully noted and considered".

"We have protected this nest, including keeping details of its location confidential to avoid any direct disturbance of the nest," it said.

"While the experience does not affect the nest, we are aware the owl may forage across the whole site. Our work will include monitoring the movements of the owl, and noting where we can minimise any impact to the owl in the experience design."

Image: Harry Potter Forbidden Forest Experience/