Environmental works have been scheduled for the end of May to remove the final 150 metres of exotic trees at Forest Creek in Castlemaine to make way for new native vegetation.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Senior Environmental Planner, Damian Sharrock, said: “We are undertaking these works to remove the final stand of exotic Silver Poplars from Forest Creek, upstream of Paterson's Bridge (Duke Street/Pyrenees Highway).  

“In Victoria, Silver Poplars are identified as an environmental weed and considered a threat to riparian vegetation and disturbs creeks and wetlands,” Mr Sharrock said.

“Poplars and other exotic tree species such as willows often shade out the land and prevent native shrubs and grasses from establishing and reduce biodiversity. When exotic trees grow in waterways, it can lead to bank instability and erosion.

“For the past 30 years, the Castlemaine Landcare Group, with support from DELWP, Mt Alexander Shire and other agencies, has been undertaking environmental works along Moonlight and Forest Creeks, between Colles and Happy Valley Roads, downstream to Campbells Creek.

“This work has included the removal of exotic species and re-plantings of native vegetation to establish a corridor of native riparian vegetation along Castlemaine’s urban creeks.

“Re-establishing native vegetation along riparian zones provides benefits to waterways. A diverse range of native shrubs and grasses reduces the risk of erosion, provides habitat for native flora and fauna and improves water quality and habitat for aquatic species.”

“This is the last major section of land, between Colles Road and Campbells Creek, to be revegetated.

“Depending on weather, we hope to start works at the end of May/start of June and will take approximately one week to complete.

“Djandak (Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises) has been contracted to carry out the works.

“Following the tree removal, the site will be replanted with native vegetation in Spring 2017.”  

For more information about the project, please contact DELWP at 5430 4444.

www.delwp.vic.gov.au | Follow us on Twitter: @DELWP_Vic |