Maitland's Dry Rainforest Revival

Revegetating the historical Cedar Scrub

Maitland's Dry Rainforest Revival

Revegetating the historical Cedar Scrub

Capacity to Deliver -

LEP 028 002-1

The issue

Prior to colonisation a significant portion of the Maitland City Council area was covered in Dry rainforest (DRF) with a number of different plant communities including riverbanks, wetlands, flood scoured areas, cultural burning areas and margins between other plant communities. DRF coverage has been dramatically reduced with the lowland sections almost completely cleared of rainforest species; the remnant rainforest is now restricted to inaccessible steep hill slopes, isolated degraded remnants and isolated individual plants along roadsides, in gullies and on the riverbank. The riparian zones of the lower Hunter are highly degraded with little vegetation, causing a cascade of issues.  A couple of individual landholders and a community group got in touch to see if Landcare could help tackle this problem.

The solution

One key individual stakeholder has been revegetating a patch of land at Oakhampton using Dry Rainforest species for the past 10 years- site visits revealed the potential of reinstating the Cedar Scrub in the Lower Hunter. Inspired by the enthusiasm of the parties involved, the local landcare coordinator got to work bringing stakeholders together- individual landholders, Maitland City Council, Maitland Heritage Guardians, Maitland Landcare, Hunter Local Land Services and Mindaribba LALC.

All stakeholders have been supportive of the project concept and happy to collaborate wherever possible. One Landcare member has been working on the technical aspect of the project, using thorough research and analysis to determine the best approach to restoring the 'Cedar Scrub' which once existed, with consideration of the ecological changes that have occurred in the past hundred years and reconnect Maitland to a broad biodiversity network. We have sourced funding to start revegetation works at a number of properties.

The impact

Working with MCC, we have been investigating Council sites that would be suitable now and in the future.  The existing Bolwarra Landcare site is the first to start with infill planting of Dry Rainforest species, with protection from existing stand of Eucalypt mixed forest. We have worked collectively to expand considerably the patch at Oakhampton with a specific revegetation plan. We anticipate many more sites to come. A collaborative Environmental Education grant has been submitted to bring awareness and attention to this project which we hope will be approved later this year.

Key facts

  • 2 sites being revegetated Autumn 2024, more to come