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A solution to a problem on the urban fringe
A funding boost has helped Lake Macquarie City Council restore a bush reserve in the Cockle Creek catchment to a tranquil haven where the community can enjoy activities such as bush walking, cycling and fishing.
Unauthorised vehicles such as four wheel drives and motorbikes were accessing unsealed tracks designed for bush walkers and the lighter footprint of bicycles. This led to damaged vegetation and exposed trails resulting in extra sediment entering Cockle Creek and causing real problems to water quality after rain.
Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Project Officer Dan Keating said the project involved closing some of the tracks by installing fences and large sandstone blocks and planting the tracks out with local native plants such as Paperbark and Lomandra. Using funding from the State Government’s Catchment Action NSW, the CMA built a partnership with Council and the project achievements were shown to CMA board members recently.
“The CMA partnered with Lake Macquarie City Council with 50/50 joint-funding on this project as we wanted to regenerate native vegetation, reduce the amount of sediment entering nearby Cockle Creek and ultimately improve water quality,” Mr Keating said.
Lake Macquarie City Council’s Acting Sustainability Manager Sandie Pitter said “Council had already started work in the area by removing approximately thirty trailer loads of illegally dumped rubbish and so we appreciated the funds from the CMA to complete the work.”
“Joining forces with the CMA gave Council the extra funds needed to close some of the access tracks and to then plant out the trails with native shrubs to reduce soil erosion and also build up the native vegetation in the area.”
“The local community has been part of this project and told us they wanted a place where they could experience the peace and quiet of the natural bush, they can now enjoy a bush reserve with tracks suitable for walking, cycling and fishing and not unauthorised vehicles such as four-wheel drives and motor bikes,” Ms Pitter said.