Green thumbs get hands dirty in Tamworth

WET weather did not deter the green thumbs of Tamworth yesterday, with Tamworth Regional Council and Landcare getting their hands dirty and planting trees along Jewry St.

As part of a NSW Environmental Trust grant, council sustainability co-ordinator Natasha Soar is gathering the troops to plant 2800 trees along the riverbank on Jewry St, opposite the new car park for the cricket fields.

Yesterday there was no quota of trees to plant, just as many as they could in the cool and damp conditions.

"We are eventually hoping to plant 2800 plants and trees," Mrs Soar said.

"All the trees are of native provenance, so all from around the area, and we are planting a mix of casuarinas, melaleucas and callistemons."

Six people from the council and Landcare and several families braved the rain to start the plantings yesterday, but this week schools will pitch in, and the community will be called upon to get their hands dirty in December to finish off the project.

"Farrer and Liberty schools will be planting on Tuesday. And I have a community planting day planned in mid-December, although no date has been set yet," Mrs Soar said.

The plantings are being done to rehabilitate and revegetate the area, which is affected by floodwater overflow from the Peel River, and encourage native species to return by providing a habitat for them.

As part of the grant, the council has also undertaken watercourse environmental rehabilitation and water testing.

"The floods have been doing damage to this area, and planting these trees and plants will stabilise the area in case of other floods," Mrs Soar said.

"We also want to provide increased habitat, which is very fragmented in this area. We are hoping increased habitat will encourage native birds and other animals to return to the area. By planting it out, I'm also hoping it will improve the water quality.

"Once the plantings have been completed, the site will be opened for community use. It's a joint project from environmental trust and council, which have provided all of the plants and materials.

"Community groups like Landcare are providing their muscles and goodwill and their planting enthusiasm."

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