Wyrrabalong National Park is divided into two major sections. One to the north of The Entrance and the other section to the south of Bateau Bay. Several years ago the strip of land along Tuggerah Lake from The Entrance to Long Jetty and then along Saltwater creek to Bateau Bay and Crackneck lookout was identified as an important stepping stone corridor for wildlife to travel between these two halves of the National Park.
Sections of the corridor have high recreational usage while other parts are rarely disturbed. The term ‘Stepping Stone Corridor’ was first used in 2000 to describe the patchy nature of the remnant vegetation that comprises the 6 kilometre wildlife corridor.
The corridor has had regeneration and planting work carried out since the early 1980s. This has included substantial plantings and bush regeneration by CEN, Bateau Bay Bushcare, volunteers and Wyong council. While the activity has been uncoordinated it has been successful in that there are a variety of vegetation ‘steps’ in place.
The work has included:
- Riparian Rehabilitation Project on Saltwater Creek 2001 to 2003, CEN and Bateau Bay Bushcare.
- Wyong Council Plantings 2002 to 2004
- Bateau Bay Bushcare Activities 1988 to 2006
- Tuggerah Biodiversity Committee 1997 study
- The Entrance High School Activities circa 1985-90.
- Bateau Bay Retention Ponds plantings in 1982;
- Bateau Bay Progress Association 1979-1988
Most of the suburb of Bateau Bay was developed in the 1960s and 1970s. However, volunteers have always been active in the area since the beginning. The interest led to the Bateau Bay Progress Association, being formed in 1955 having the mission “to preserve the Village of Bateau Bay as a quiet, tree decked residential area”. The first street plantings occurred in 1963 and trees cleared for views were replaced in 1979. This awareness is particularly due to the influence of two locals; Naomi Honey (who had a licence to collect seeds on crown land) and retired Professor Neville White (plant pathologist) who educated many of the locals in the values of the bushland.
Finally, the Stepping Stone Corridor is important as it;
- Provides a link for biodiversity in a north south corridor near the coast;
- Provides a pathway for threatened species;
- Contributes to water quality on the eastern shore of Tuggerah lakes;
- Provides a place where people and native species can interact.
The project adopts a strategic approach to rehabilitating this corridor and gaining long-term community, council and agency support for the rehabilitation program. Read the full report at www.cen.org.au/resources and click on Stepping Stones report.