Conservation Volunteers Australia is coordinating a large scale revegetation project at Hexham Swamp, as part of the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme. This project was initiated by WetlandCare Australia.
Hexham Swamp adjoins Hunter Wetlands Centre and flows into the Hunter Estuary Wetlands Ramsar Site. It is listed in the Directory of Important Wetlands of Australia, and is part of the Hunter Estuary Important Bird Area. Hexham Swamp was once a vast freshwater and saltwater wetland complex. Eight floodgates have been re-opened to reinstate tidal flows. EPBC-listed migratory birds observed in Hexham Swamp BEFORE rehabilitation commenced include Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Latham’s Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Marsh Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper. Ann Lindsay from Hunter Bird Observers Club is conducting regular surveys of birds using the wetland since the floodgates were opened, and is excited by the results.
The 20 Million Trees project site is the Shortland Waste Water Treatment Works, which is owned by Hunter Water Corporation. Conservation Volunteers Australia will plant 10,750 trees to reinstate Coastal Foothills Spotted Gum – Ironbark Forest in the paddocks closest to Hexham Swamp & improve the riparian zone of Crawchie Creek. Jenny Castle’s Shortland-Wallsend Landcare Group has been working for over a decade with the City of Newcastle and Local Land Services to restore and revegetate this creek from Northcott Park to the boundary of the Hunter Water Corporation site, and are glad their work will now continue into Hunter Water’s land. The resulting vegetation will increase the extent of terrestrial woodland fringing Hexham Swamp, improve habitat for avifauna and arboreal mammals and improve water quality in Hexham Swamp.
To find out about up coming events and how you can get involved, contact our Newcastle office.