I was pleased to launch the Blue Mountains Shale Cap Forest Project at Bilpin today, as the Chairman of the Hawkesbury River County Council.
The Shale forests stretching across Berambing, Bilpin and Mountain Lagoon are State listed endangered ecological communities, even more threatened in the aftermath of the fires. They are typified by an unusually rich diversity of plant, insect, and vertebrate species.
People forget that the Hawkesbury has more of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area within its boundaries than the Blue Mountains LGA.
My first paid job as a teenager was at Dutch’s farm at Mountain Lagoon. I still remember being captivated by the size of the huge Angophoras fringing the property. It’s satisfying to now lead an organisation working for their preservation.
This initiative is funded over a multiple years to identify and map the ecology, educate and incentivise landowners, provide on the ground help to assist in bush regeneration, conduct weed control, and track progress.
The project will aim to found a dedicated Bilpin Landcare group to carry the work forward, and the locals who attended today were curious and positive about it.
This grant (over $100K) is the first-time a private property engagement that focuses on conservation and land management has been done on this scale. Over 400 private properties have been contacted covering over 2,835 hectares in the Hawkesbury.
It’s also great to see this is a team effort between Blue Mountains City Council, Hawkesbury River County Council, Hawkesbury City Council, the Hawkesbury Landcare Network, Greater Sydney Local Land Services, and the NSW Environmental Trust.
If you want to get on board, contact HRCC.