CHILDREN from Merriwa Central, Sandy Hollow Primary and Cassilis Primary schools have been on a conservation journey, which concluded with a tree planting day along a section of the disused rail corridor from Merriwa to Sandy Hollow.
The youngsters learnt about the importance of the unique native wildlife and habitats of the Upper Hunter at a school workshop and were then given the opportunity to restore habitat for the movement of threatened species such as the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.
“By planting trees in previously cleared areas we seek to integrate conservation efforts with existing reserve systems in the area,” facilitator for the Hunter Great Eastern Ranges (GER) Partnership Jaci Tebb said.
“These ‘stepping-stone’ links across the landscape improve movement corridors for wildlife as continued development and climate change place additional strain on native species.”
The restoration site is located at Worondi Creek Road, Gungal, which is situated between the Goulburn River National Park to the west and the Manobalai Nature Reserve to the east.
The Upper Hunter is ecologically unique due to a natural gap in the Great Eastern Ranges, making it one of only three areas on the eastern seaboard of Australia where coastal ecosystems extend inland.
The restoration project has been developed and facilitated by Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Transport for NSW (facilitated by John Holland Rail) and the Hunter Valley Partnership of the Great Eastern Ranges (GER).