Hollows, koala corridors, Environmentalist of the Year and Biodiversity Matters

Updated: Apr 11

✦ Landcare is leading the way in Bushfire Recovery by providing hollows and creating koala corridors.

What is a hollow? Put simply, a bedroom, hiding place, nursery or shelter provided to hundreds of Australian animals. But they face threats such as land clearing, development and climate change.

Protecting or providing hollows is a way of protecting local native wildlife. Landcare’s “Hollows in the Hastings” project is seeing nesting boxes and hollows installed to provide additional habitat for wildlife. Boxes of different sizes and shapes to mimic different types of hollows and therefore accommodation for a range of different native species are being installed across the Hastings Valley.

This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project is being supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

More information: https://hastingslandcare.org.au/

Koala Corridor Planting

In 2020, Hastings Landcare held a community planting day where koala food trees were planted to create habitat linkages for koalas. The project aims to create a corridor between two state forest parcels across private farmland to allow koalas and other wildlife easy access across the landscape.

The photos below show the progression of the project so far. Many of the trees are over two metres tall already.

This project was made possible by funding from Landcare Australia as a part of their “Post Fire Koala Habitat Program”.

If you are interested in holding a community planting day at your place feel free to get in contact with Hastings Landcare.

Sue Baker receives 2022 Environmental Citizen of the Year

For more than 20 years, Sue has shown a dedication to environmental projects. This has earned her the Environmental Citizen of the Year honour in the Port Macquarie-Hastings Australia Day Awards.

Thrilled with the award, Sue acknowledged her two exceptional volunteer teams involved in long-running projects at Dunbogan and Crowdy Bay National Park.

"They are just so extraordinarily hardworking and committed and I couldn't possibly accept the award without acknowledging their contribution," Sue said. "It is also great to have the work itself recognised."

She also recognised the efforts of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Hastings Landcare, National Parks and Wildlife Service and contractors.

The Dunbogan Bushcare Group was formed in 1999 with two major aims

They formed to eradicate a severe bitou bush infestation along Dunbogan breakwall, and in conjunction with the local council, build an access track to Gogley's Lagoon.

The work has expanded into areas not even on the radar in the early days with about 12 volunteers dedicated to the project.

More than 5000 seedlings have been planted in the most degraded areas and an erosion control project has also been undertaken at Gogley's Lagoon. An estimated 90 tonnes of prickly ears have been cleared, plus 2600 rainforest seedlings will be planted in two degraded areas over the next 14 months.

Sue told us that roughly 20 hectares of habitat had been restored and the track had opened up public access to the Gogley's Lagoon swimming hole. "We are all just so thrilled to see the areas we have worked on come to life and the birds return," she said. "The place is just thriving."

Bush regeneration at Crowdy Bay National Park - dates back to 1999

Sue has also coordinated a significant bush regeneration program in the Diamond Head-Kylie's Beach area working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Service planning and executing a large-scale restoration of Crowdy Bay National Park.

"From hand weeding by volunteers on Diamond Head, together with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, we progressed that project to aerial spraying of bitou bush north along Dunbogan Beach and south all the way to Crowdy Head," Sue said.

NSW Environmental Trust awarded three grants, totalling $300,000 and each spanning four years, for work in the Dunbogan-Crowdy Bay National Park habitat corridor.

"There is no way we could have achieved what we have without those funds," she said.

Brilliant-online were asked to publish the following:

Open Letter to Port Macquarie Hastings Council from Hastings Landcare President Peter Fitzroy

Biodiversity Management

Landcare is a grassroots movement of groups and individuals across Australia with a shared vision to protect, enhance or restore the natural environment in their local community through sustainable land management and conservation activities.

Volunteers and workers in Landcare support environmental principles like habitat protection, biodiversity, sustainability, and bush regeneration. On the ground, this support is evidenced by targeted weed control, replanting degraded landforms as for example, river banks, and stewardship of ecologically sensitive corridors linking habitats. These principles also resonate in most, if not all, of the community groups in the Port Macquarie Hasting Council footprint.