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Conservation in Dungog Common

Planning is underway for a $150,000 conservation project to restore native vegetation in Dungog Common Recreation Reserve and improve the quality of the Hunter’s drinking water by reducing sediment entering the Williams River.

Dungog Common is a 240 ha reserve used for cattle grazing and recreation activities such as mountain biking, horse riding and bush walking. It is home to significant native vegetation including open woodland, rainforest and some threatened species.

Hunter Local Land Services will coordinate the 18-month project, on behalf of the Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust, addressing soil erosion issues, managing weed infestations and improving the condition of native vegetation on the reserve. It will also enhance facilities for recreational users and improve grazing conditions for livestock.

Since the beginning of the project, local residents and users of the reserve have been invited to provide input to the plans and contribute information on the areas they like to access within the reserve. Representatives from Dungog Shire Council, Dungog Common Landcare, Dungog Shire Community Centre, Tocal Agricultural College and walking groups, along with residents, mountain bike riders, horse riders, campers, apiarists and stock managers are among those consulted so far.

Plans are underway to reduce erosion and sediment loss, improve grazing management, and manage and enhance vegetation. These plans will form the basis for ongoing management and maintenance of the site.

“The project is still in its early stages and Hunter Local Land Services is encouraging the local community to tell us more about their views and ideas on the project. We’ll be consulting with the public throughout the project,” Project coordinator Lorna Adlem said.

“Important messages coming from the community so far include the need for careful consideration of suitable internal fencing design and placement to ensure optimum access for users. The community is also telling us to progress with the changes at a gradual pace.”

The project is funded via the NSW Land and Environment Court as the result of fines from pollution incidents. Please contact Lorna Adlem for more information, or to provide feedback, by phone 4930 1030 or email lorna.adlem@lls.nsw.gov.au.