A waterway in a biodiversity zone on Charles Sturt University land will undergo a transformation next Sunday to improve the habitat and encourage the return of native plants, fish and birds.
Summer Hill Creek Care president Cilla Kinross said the waterway had been poorly managed but after willows, which don't provide much of a habitat for birds or insects, were taken out in 2018, the time had come to reintroduce native plants.
The habitat creation day will include planting native shrubs and ground cover along the banks of Frederick's Valley Creek.
It's a really stressed river system, it hasn't been looked after.Summer Hill Creek Care president Cilla Kinross
"We got rid of the willows and now we need to restore the habitat for the fish in the area," Dr Kinross said.
"There really aren't any native fish in that area anymore, most of the fish at the moment are carp and red fin [perch] which were introduced.
"It's a really stressed river system, it hasn't been looked after.
"We will be putting plants along the creek with special matting to try and suppress the weeds, particularly the hemlock takes off."
Dr Kinross said Landcare received a fish habitat action grant for the project, which was also supported by CSU and Orange City Council, Central Tablelands Land Care donated seeds while the Rural Fire Service burnt the willows.
"We've got a grant to restore the area between First and Second Crossing on Ophir Road, its six hectares so it's going to be all hands on deck," she said.
"[It will be] mainly ground covers near the creek.
"The area is called Risky Paddock because it floods so planting along the creek is fraught with issues because it can be washed away.
"There would have been shrubs originally like tea trees and bottle brush."
Dr Kinross said there are also plans to lay seeds for native grasses in areas where there wouldn't have been any trees and in time there will be plans to restore shade to the creek bank after hearing reports that platypus were seen in that area when the willows were removed.
Dr Kinross said once native plants were established it wouldn't take long for native birds to return to the area but native fish would need to be reintroduced and it could be years before the creek habitat was ready.
Bill Josh will be present with his barbecue van and although the creek is shallow, if people plan to bring children the children need to be well supervised.
The habitat creation day will take place on September 1 from 9.30am to 12.30pm. Register by Thursday by phoning Dr Kinross on 6365 7651 or email email@example.com.
Meet at the corner of Banjo Paterson Way and Ophir Road where there's a parking area, the site will be on the other side of the road.
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