Hunter River Reserve bushland restoration

Community working to restore historic reserve on the Hunter River

Hunter River Reserve bushland restoration

Community working to restore historic reserve on the Hunter River

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

The Hunter River Reserve provides spectacular views over Luskintyre and Lambs Valley, cradled between Lambs Mountain and the Moonabung Range. Containing one of the last remaining stands of intact native vegetation along the Lower Hunter River, endangered vegetation communities, a host of native wildlife, and direct river access via historic sandstone steps and pathways, the reserve is a treasure trove of environmental and heritage features.  

The reserve is under threat by a large infestation of Madeira vine, lantana, prickly pear, and a host of other garden escapees.  Through a funded project managed by Hunter Councils, some weed control works and erosion control in the reserve took place by local contractors.  They tackled the difficult to access areas of the reserve on the slope where the Lower Hunter Valley Dry Rainforest meets the Lower Hunter Spotted Gum- Ironbark Forest, both endangered ecological communites. 

The solution

The challenge lies in the fact that once the project funding is gone, who will follow up with ongoing weed removal to prevent more degradation. 

During a community day held as part of the project, a group of interested locals expressed interest in looking after the reserve.  Hunter Region Landcare Network coordinator and few keen volunteers have been holding monthy working bees to remove weeds, rubbish and care for the Park.  The working bees have been very fruitful with 2-3 large bags of tiger pear removed at each session, rubbish, exotic aloes, latana, african olive, and senna plants.  

The impact

The working bees have been very enjoyable for the group with much knowledge and conversation shared along the way.  The group is able to identify more of the native plants growing in the reserve and notice the wonderful birdlife that is present on any given day.  The group is planning to place wildlife cameras over a period of two weeks to monitor any nocturnal or shy mammals, reptiles, birds that may be elusive.  This will help paint a better picture of the biodiversity value of the reserve into the future.  The group is also looking at placing nest boxes to attract gliders.  

Key facts

  • A small group can make a positive impact.
  • Committed locals take care of historic park.