Huonbrook’s road to rainforest recovery continues, with 1,600 new native trees in the ground after our recent planting day.
Made possible thanks to a grant from inGrained Foundation and the hands-on help of our wonderful Rainforest Rangers, a combined team of 20 pulled on their boots and showed up to plant out the site, near Byron Bay on April 21 2023.
Many hands make light work
A huge thank you to all who helped on the day, from our fantastic volunteers who became Rainforest Rangers for the day and the incredible Stone and Wood Brewery staff who enthusiastically mucked in. Each of the 1,600 trees planted was then mulched, and a tree guard was put in place to prevent grazing from Wallabies. No watering was needed as it rained throughout the day on both the plants and tree planters.
Many hands made for light work
A significant impact
The trees we planted together will stabilise the landscape and accelerate the regeneration of rainforest in the Byron Bay hinterland, which has been plagued with natural disasters in recent years. First in 2019, when unprecedented bushfires scorched the hills. Then, last year, record-breaking rainfall resulted in floods along the creeks and valleys throughout the region. At Huonbrook, roads and bridges washed away and residents were isolated for weeks.
Around the planting site we could still see the impact of the floods; landslips on hillsides, creeks gouged out, and large, fallen trees piled up like twigs.
In Northern NSW, Lowland Subtropical Rainforest was mostly cleared between 1860 and 1900 and today less than 1% of this ecosystem remains. The remnants of the Lowland Subtropical Rainforest in NSW are listed nationally as a threatened ecological community (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999).
Our tree planting was located on Coopers Creek, one of the many waterways that flow towards Lismore where the record-breaking flooding occurred.
Creeks and rivers conversing on Lismore
And it isn’t just the landscape that has suffered from natural disasters. Huonbrook is home to at least 25 species listed as Threatened by the state government’s Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Once grown, these new trees will provide additional habitat for species including the wompoo fruit-dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) and the elusive spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus). (All threatened species listed below)
Threatened species found at Huonbrook
Birds: Albert's Lyrebird, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Bush-hen, Marbled Frogmouth, Masked Owl, White-eared Monarch, Rufous Scrub-bird, Sooty Owl, Black Bittern, Double-eyed Fig-parrot, Glossy Black-cockatoo, Osprey, White-eared Monarch, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Rufous Scrub-bird
Mammals: Little Bentwing Bat, Large-eared Pied Bat, Eastern Long-eared Bat, Golden-tipped Bat, Koala, Large-footed Myotis, Red-legged Pademelon, Spotted-tailed Quoll
Amphibians: Loveridge's Frog, Pouched Frog
Reptiles: Stephen's Banded Snake
Rose-Crowned Fruit-Dove - photo by Sharon McGrigor
Thank you to the inGrained Foundation
The Rainforest 4 Foundation and project partners HalfCut have been awarded $26,300 from the inGrained Foundation to support this project titled: Stronger Together Northern Rivers Flood Repair and Climate Mitigation.
This is a response to the extreme rainfall and flooding event that occurred in April 2022 and led the inGrained Foundation Grants Committee to focus on responses that help the local community recover and prepare for a resilient future.