Blue Mountains News
Farmers Creek Habitat and Hollows Project
This project builds on recommendations from the Farmers Creek Precinct Master Plan which provides a series of recommendations to ensure that this important waterway becomes a recreational hotspot for residents of Lithgow, while also providing important habitat for native animals.
“Farmers Creek is at the very heart of our city and provides an important link through Lithgow that will become a haven for recreational users including walkers, cyclists, bird watchers and more,” Mayor of Lithgow, Councillor Ray Thompson stated.
Lithgow City Council received a total of $20,000 in funding from Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance in order to establish ecological baseline data prior to the implementation of the Farmers Creek Master Plan.
“This funding has been critical in giving us a sound, scientific understanding of the current ecological condition of Farmers Creek. Now we have the ability to understand how any future works are contributing to the health of this waterway and we will be able to demonstrate, in real scientific measures, the improvements for any further investment,” explained Mayor Thompson.
Now that the baseline ecological assessment is complete, the first stage of works which has been complete is the installation of habitat boxes for native birds, bats and gliders that depend on the creek and the surrounding bushland for their survival. The 20 Hybrid Habitat Boxes have been specifically designed to target native animals recorded during the ecological assessment.
“It takes around 100 years for a small hollow to form naturally in Australian bushland, and around 200 to 300 years for large hollows to develop that can support large animals such as cockatoos and owls,” explained Mayor Thompson.
“Much of the urban area is lacking in large mature trees capable of supporting hollows. We know that we still have a range of birds and other animals that rely on hollows. Providing additional habitat will assist in securing these populations into the future.”
Additional works are planned for the creek that will include revegetation with native plants, weed control, erosion control works to stabilise creek banks, and solutions to manage stormwater related issues. It is planned that ecological surveys will be undertaken at five-year intervals to monitor changes to the health of the creek. Residents will be able to observe changes to the condition of the creek far more regularly as the recreational and amenity values of the area improve to encourage more people to use this important space.
For further information regarding Farmers Creek, please refer to the Lithgow City Council website.
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