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Combined effort improves creek and cave health at Gunns Plains


Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) staff, eight Conservation and Land Management students from TasTAFE Burnie campus, along with a neighbouring farmer, recently spent two days planting more than 1200 seedlings along a creek line at Gunns Plains.

The works were the final part of project that included removal of old fencing and other farming waste from the creek, weed slashing and spraying, fencing the creek from cattle access and planting trees along the creek line.

Parks and Reserves Manager for the Northwest Coast, Tina Alderson, said the creek is highly significant in that it is upstream of the Gunns Plains karst (cave) system.

“The creek flows into the hillside just downstream of the site, then runs underground through the Gunns Plains cave and exits above ground past the tourist cave. The health of the creek upstream of the karst area is vital to maintaining a healthy cave system,” Tina said.

‘It’s been a real collaborative effort with support from neighbour Sam Warden, the TasTAFE students and Oldina nursery.”

The TasTAFE students got some valuable hands-on experience over the two days with a few challenges, including chilly weather conditions and good-sized tiger leeches.

Neighbouring farmer Sam Warden said it has been a good project to be involved in and work in conjunction with PWS and the TasTAFE students.

The PWS gratefully acknowledges the funding assistance provided by the Australian Government’s Caring For our Country program, developed from the Cradle Coast NRM Strategy and supported by Cradle Coast NRM for this project, which will be finalised soon with a small area of revegetation to be undertaken in conjunction with the KarstCare volunteer group near the tourist cave entrance where the creek exits the karst system.    

Combined effort improves creek and cave health at Gunns Plains

TasTAFE students reflect on their handiwork.

Combined effort improves creek and cave health at Gunns Plains

Plantings alongside the creek at Gunns Plains.

Combined effort improves creek and cave health at Gunns Plains

Staff and student kept an eye out for leeches.