URALLA Shire Council is banding together with Southern New England Landcare to host a flora and fauna walk tomorrow to highlight the plight of the Upland Wetlands and celebrate World Wetlands Day.
The walk and fun day, which starts at 7am, will also include a free barbecue breakfast from 8.30am and foot races at 9am.
It’s being held at Racecourse Lagoon, three kilometres south-west of Uralla on Racecourse Rd.
The popular birdwatching spot is part of what’s known as the Upland Wetlands, a group of wetlands across the tablelands which were under immense strain, Uralla Shire Council environmental projects officer Stephanie McCaffrey said.
“More than 70 per cent of the Upland Wetlands are believed to have been lost through various means,” Ms McCaffrey said.
She said many things had contributed to the wetlands loss – aquifer drainage, agricultural practices, landscape clearing and urban development.
“A few of them have a form of protection and a lot are on private land,” she said. “Racecourse Lagoon is one of very few on public land.”
It was important for the council and community to know what existed at these fragile wetland sites, especially since council had signed a voluntary conservation agreement with the Minister for the Environment in 1999 to protect Racecourse Lagoon.
“Part of the birdwatching process is to log all the species of birds we see,” Ms McCaffrey said.
“Racecourse Lagoon has been full for some time now and is brimming with native animal and plant life, so if you have never been or haven’t been for some time, now is the perfect time to go.”
Members of Southern New England Landcare will speak about different topics including feral animal control and there will be information regarding funding for landcare projects.
The council has conducted a number of environmental projects in recent years including the rehabilitation of Rocky Creek and Uralla Creek and bush-regeneration projects.