At the end of 2011 the HREP committee made a successful application for a 'Communities for Nature' Grant from the Department of Sustainability. They were awarded $185,090.00 over four years to continue the HREP project!
Local MP Bill Sykes (back left) with representatives from the four Strathbogie groups who received the Communities for Nature Grants. Click image
HREP since 2012
Revegetation along the Honeysuckle Creek verge has continued with great success. It has included
- maintaining the existing planted areas
- six new areas planted
- Several understory plantings under the main stands of remnant River Red Gums and Box trees in the Northern grassy woodland area of the Recreation Reserve
- a large grove of 200 sheoaks and bulloaks created. It is hoped that this grove will develop into a restful and contemplative place for people to sit or wander through. Until 2014 good rains helped the new plants to thrive.
- 2014 - 2016 were increasingly dry and hot so a large portable water tank was purchased so that the HREP group could water the newest plants over the worst summer months.
- The number of community members willing to help at working bees grew steadily. Working bees became good social events followed by a friendly tasty lunch or evening meal.
- a purpose built trailer was made by local engineers to hold all the large tools, tree guards, ladder and picnic equipment needed at working bees and community field days.
Each year 2 or 3 Field days have been held at which environmental experts led walks or made presentations that inform the community about the natural environment, the geology and geomorphology and also history of our local area.
Field days held since 2012 include:
Major Mitchell and the Honeysuckle Creek Chain of Ponds
The Chain of Ponds upstream
Creekside plantings on "Honeysuckle" farm
Nest boxes and Birdwatching along the Honeysuckle Creek
A Honeysuckle Festival every second year focused on a different theme.
Since February 2013, two night time spotlighting surveys and two daytime surveys per month have been conducted in the HREP area of the Recreation Precinct. Over time these surveys will tell us whether our efforts to restore the native habitat in parts of the Recreation precinct have had any effect on the numbers and varieties of native animals inhabiting it.
At the end of 2015 the HREP Group was successful in obtaining a 'Threatened Species' grant which was used to analyse the results of the fauna surveys completed so far. This has been used at severla community and conference presentations
In 2015 the HREP group published the 'Birds of the Honeysuckle Creek' brochure which is designed to assist visitors to identify birds as they walk along the walking track.
In 2016 a further brochure was produced by the HREP group called the Honeysuckle Creek walking track. This is available free to locals and tourists from the businesses in Cowslip Street.
By mid 2016 the Communities for Nature funding of HREP ended. Again the HREP committee had to seek new funding sources to continue its poroject.
In 2017 they successfully applied for a more substantial Threatened Species Grant. This will enable them to begin Stage 4 of the HREP Project.