One of the few remaining high-altitude freshwater lagoons on the Northern Tablelands is benefitting from an ongoing restoration project.
Little Llangothlin Nature Reserve is a Ramsar wetland site of international importance. It is located 20kms north east of Guyra and covers an area of 260 hectares.
Protecting Little Llangothlin Lagoon for Future Generations is a five-year project that began in 2018 to evaluate the ecological condition of the Nature Reserve, with a focus on improving conditions for threatened species and ecological communities.
The project is being delivered by GLENRAC, in collaboration with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and National Parks and Wildlife Service, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Anya Salmon, Senior Land Services Officer with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, is excited by the longevity of the project.
“A large part of the project involves monitoring change, particularly in the vegetation in the lagoons. Valuable research is being carried out by a team of ecologists, led by Dr Mahri Koch, GLENRAC, as well as Dr John Hunter, School of Environmental and Rural Science, UNE.
“The project is enhancing the Threatened Ecological Community of Eucalyptus nova-anglica (New England Peppermint) and Eucalyptus pauciflora (Snow Gums). The species have suffered considerably from Eucalyptus dieback in the region. A large part of the project involves increasing this habitat and we are pleased that in the first year of the project, two hectares of revegetation have been successfully planted,” said Anya.
Despite the project being challenged by the previous years of drought, recent rain has provided the opportunity to plant further seedlings at the site.
“Our aim is to plant a further four hectares which will include 450 seedlings of mixed species. We are delighted that BackTrack assisted us with planting some these. It has been a wonderful collaboration and BackTrack have been excellent project partners,” explained Anya.
Based in Armidale and established by Bernie Shakeshaft, BackTrack is a not-for-profit organisation that offers mentoring and traineeships to young people doing it tough, providing them with work experience and employment opportunities.
Marcus Watson, Business Development Manager, Social Enterprise with BackTrack, is highly complimentary of the collaboration and the rewards it brings to the BackTrack team.
“The team is provided with hands-on training which allows them to gain practical skills so they can potentially obtain further employment. It provides a valuable opportunity to work as a team while connecting with industry. The experience has been extremely positive and successful,” said Marcus.
“It was extremely uplifting to be able to successfully deliver the project when facing the challenges presented by Coronavirus, as well as the drought, the repercussions of which are still very present,” said Anya.