WETLANDS ENHANCEMENT – BATHURST BRICK PITS

A significant wetland habitat on the floodplain between Bathurst and Kelso is set to be given an environmental makeover thanks to funding of $100,000 from the NSW Government.

Bathurst MP Paul Toole announced the NSW Environment Trust grant today which would allow the commencement on the remediation on a tract of land known as the Bathurst Brick Pits.

 Mr Toole said the funding will go to Bathurst Regional Council to complete stage one of the initiative which is described as an innovative ecological project to enhance habitat for migratory and wetland birds at the Brick Pit Wetlands.

“These wetlands cover about six hectares and are actually quite close to the Bathurst CBD and are located near Edgells Lane which runs off Hereford Street between Bathurst and Kelso,” Mr Toole said.

“Studies have revealed that more than 80 species of birds have been identified at this location which forms part of the Raglan Creek wetland complex.”

Stage one of a multi-stage project will commence with works to excavate a deeper, open-water habitat zone and revegetation to reinstating this wetland habitat in the Macquarie River floodplain.

“This will improve habitat for migratory and threatened bird species that are already known to use the Brick Pit Wetlands in suitable conditions,” Mr Toole said.

“It will be an important first step towards the creation of swampy meadow and shallow marsh zones to provide a greater diversity of habitats.”

NSW Environment Trust funds will be used to carry out the excavation works, conduct erosion and sediment and top soil control works, and for planting of adjacent areas with native wetland species, as well as terrestrial species in the fringing vegetation areas.

Community planting days will be held to assist with revegetation works and provide education on the benefits of wetlands.

The Bathurst Brick Pits wetlands once comprised inter-connected pools and swamps which formed valuable habitat for wildlife, particularly waterbirds.

Bathurst Regional Council completed its acquisition of the wetland in mid-2017 and has been working since then to protect and restore the habitat.

Grants of up to $100,000 were awarded to 35 organisations across NSW, totalling of $3.17m in Restoration and Rehabilitation for 2019-20.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the annual Environmental Trust’s Restoration and Rehabilitation grants program aims to achieve long-term benefits for the NSW environment through supporting local on-ground projects.

“The program seeks to support a range of organisations to improve and protect local ecosystems and environmental assets, and build partnerships and environmental expertise within their communities,” Mr Kean said.

“This is another example of how environmental management can help stimulate the economy throughout NSW. Congratulations to all grantees.”

Some of the successful program’s activities included bush regeneration, weed management, revegetation, pest management, fencing, erosion control, formalisation of tracks, community capacity building, signage and educational resources.