By Natalie Croxon
WORK to protect rare grassy white box woodland in the Tamworth area has been made possible with funding of more than $237,400.
Tamworth Regional Landcare Association received the grant from the National Trust for bush regeneration at the Moore Creek Caves Reserve, Winton Cemetery and Currabubula Cemetery.
In NSW, reportedly less than 400 hectares of this woodland type remains in a relatively unmodified condition and in the Tamworth area there are only five protected sites.
The regeneration and rehabilitation work will take place over six years and involve the eradication of invasive weed species, such as tiger pear and thistle.
The project will also include public education, with field days and workshops to take place, and scientists have volunteered their expertise to help.
Work at the Moore Creek site will be undertaken in conjunction with the Moore Creek Caves Reserve Trust and within their management plans.
Paul Moxon, head of the Landcare sub-committee in charge of the project, said this particular type of vegetation had become so rare because it was ideal for grazing and farming.
Much of the biodiversity was also in small plants close to the ground, he said, which tended to get eaten by livestock.
Mr Moxon said the Landcare association decided to embark on this project because the grassy white box woodland was the rarest bushland community in the area.
Fellow member Jean Coady said the work was important because without biodiversity the natural environment's systems and resilience to adverse conditions suffered.
The association acknowledged the support of the Namoi CMA, TAFE, Moore Creek Caves Reserve Trust, Liverpool Plains Land Management and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson.
"It's an excellent example of how, if everyone works for the common good, great things can be achieved," Mr Anderson said.