Seventy community volunteers including Berry Landcare members and families from Bulli, Nowra and Worrigee, planted 550 native plants in a critical tree corridor east of Berry on Sunday as part of National Tree Day.
The tree planting has helped to fill a critical native vegetation gap between Broughton Creek and other Berry Bush Links wildlife corridor sites north of the Foxground Berry Bypass on the Princes Highway.
Volunteers planted 26 different native plant species including more River Oaks (Casuarina cunninghamiana) which provide habitat for the threatened Large-footed Myotis (or fishing bat), an important population of native micro bat that lives along Broughton Creek.
The planting also provides a corridor for native wildlife to be able to move north or south under the highway wildlife underpass.
It took just two and a half hours for the volunteers to plant the trees in the 20m wide corridor that stretches for 450 metres from Broughton Creek to the highway.
Bush Connect project officer David Rush said although the event took some planning and organising, once the volunteers started planting, they achieve a lot in a short space of time.
“I must thank all the great volunteers who came out and planted the trees on the day,” Mr Rush said.
“It was great to see lots of children attending with their parents and they really enjoyed themselves. Many said they would like to get involved in more activities like this in future.”
That is music to project proponent, Berry Landcare Group, as they have many more sites like this to target in the Berry Corridor in coming months and years with the Bush Connect funding from the NSW Environmental Trust.
“We are very grateful for the support from neighbouring property owners, Cherie and Greg Smart and their extended family who supported the project from the start and provided essential access,” Mr Rush said.
“We are also very happy to receive the rain which will help to give the new plants a welcome drink during their establishment.”
Permission for the planting was given by the NSW Roads and Maritime Service who also provided in-kind contributions including fencing, provision of water and support with promotional signage, etc.
“The planting project on ‘Gembrook’ is an example of how the local community and landholders recognise the importance of wildlife corridors and especially to assist with creating habitat for threatened species like the fishing bat which is a key element of the Bush Connect program,” Mr Rush said.
If other landholders would like to learn more about the funding available for weed and feral animal control and to protect or link corridors for wildlife in the Berry Bush Links project, contact David by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0418 977 402 for an expression of interest form.