Warkworth Sands Restoration Project underway
July 07, 2014

Coal & Allied’s Mount Thorley Warkworth mine has begun working on part of the land they own, to actively restore 83 hectares of the Warkworth Sands Woodlands ecological community.
 
Warkworth Sands Woodland grows on old sand dunes blown by wind from Wollombi Brook. Known to local residents as the Warkworth sand sheet, the dunes provide an environment where plants commonly found along the coast are able to grow up to 100 km inland. 
 
The project will restore Warkworth Sands Woodlands on land that was extensively cleared for grazing from the mid-1830s, as well as a small sand quarry to the west of the mine.
 
Coal & Allied principal offsets adviser Nel Byatt said the land would usually regenerate once grazing had stopped, however this particular area of land needs an extra helping hand.
 
“This is a special project as we are using topsoil, mulch and sand salvaged from our mining activities to restore these highly degraded Warkworth Sands Woodland communities,” she said.
 
“Next spring we intend to plant more than 8,000 plants in these areas to supplement the active restoration activities.”
 
Photo-2-Rough-barked-Apple-(Angophora-floribunda)-seedlings.jpg
 
Pictured: Rough-barked Apple (Angophora floribunda) seedlings to be replanted at degraded Warkworth Sands Woodland areas.
 
And this is just the beginning of their plans, as they are doing extensive research to find the best possible methods for future restoration of the area.
 
“Our work is being guided by research undertaken by the University of New England over the past six years and will be carefully monitored to measure its success. We hope to determine whether some techniques are more effective than others, to assist in any further restoration of Warkworth Sands Woodlands.”
 
Photo-1-Warkworth-Sands-Woodland-restoration-area.jpg
 
Pictured: Seedlings and cuttings will be regenerated into an ecological community like the Warkworth Sands Woodland pictured here in the Northern Biodiversity Area.
 
The land that is being restored sits within the Southern and Northern Biodiversity Areas next to the mine. In total there is around 500ha of known Warkworth Sands Woodland in the Warkworth area, near Singleton in the Hunter Valley in NSW. 
 
This project is another demonstration of the commitment our NSW Miners have to minimising environmental impacts and using their land management expertise to help restore and preserve the land during and after mining.
 

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