Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve is an internationally recognised treasure in the Northern Tablelands region. It has been the focus of a five-year project to revegetate an endangered native vegetation community and has provided an opportunity for some local children to connect with country.
GLENRAC project manager, Dr Mahri Koch, was privileged to share the final tree planting exercise at Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve with the Banbai Rangers team and their children along with National Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger, Koen Dikjstra.
For the last three years, GLENRAC, National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Banbai Rangers, and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services have been engaged in seasonal tree planting at the reserve.
Five hundred seedlings were planted across four hectares to bring the total area of regeneration of the endangered ecological community of New England Peppermint woodlands, to 10 hectares at the Ramsar site (an internationally recognised wetland for its importance in conservation). This is a key milestone for the project which is jointly funded through the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.
"An additional gem of the tree planting was having the Banbai Rangers' children with us to learn about the wetland, how to plant trees and connect with their country," said Dr Mahri Koch.
"Planting at the reserve is done manually using shovels to dig holes for the young seedlings. This method avoids damage to Aboriginal artefacts that may be resting within the soil layers. The Banbai children shared all parts of the planting - digging holes, watering the seedlings, and placing the tree guards."
New England Peppermint Woodlands are only found on the New England Tablelands and it is estimated that less than 10 per cent of its original distribution exists today and much of that is in poor condition. The project is now completing its third year and it was pleasing to see the high numbers of seedlings that were planted in the drought year of 2019 as well as 2020 survive and flourish since the rains returned.
The remaining two years of the project will see work to reduce feral animal numbers and invasive plants across the reserve while a team of scientists complete their annual surveys of the fauna, flora and water quality - telling the story of the "Web of Life' at Little Llangothlin Lagoon.