The full version of the Coningham Nature Recreation Area Management Statement 2009 can be downloaded as a PDF (12 Mb).
Coningham Nature Recreation Area (NRA) is situated in southern Tasmania, about 25
kilometres south of Hobart.
The reserve covers an area of approximately 490 ha on the coast with Sheppards Hill being its most prominent upland feature. From Sheppards Hill, the land slopes down to the southern shore of North West Bay and to the east, to the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Bruny Island is less than two kilometres to the east across the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.
Coningham NRA is reserved principally for the protection of its vegetation as well as listed threatened species, Aboriginal heritage and to provide opportunities for a range of recreational pursuits.
Coningham NRA will be managed to protect the unique and diverse vegetation communities, the habitat of priority fauna species such as the forty-spotted pardalote and swift parrot and to provide for a range of compatible recreational uses in the reserve. Reserves such as Coningham NRA are central to the maintenance of strong populations of wildlife as it provides a refuge from which dispersal occurs. The continuum of native vegetation from the reserve onto neighbouring properties is central to conserving a network of vegetation corridors in the landscape.
The reserve is also highly valued as it provides for a wide range of recreational uses. Due to an increasing number of people living close-by, the reserve needs to be positioned for a likely increase in recreational use.
Unauthorised use of the reserve, including persistent unauthorised off-road vehicle access, as well as weeds and neighbour encroachments threaten the reserve’s values. A number of strategies are proposed to reduce these threats. Erosion, damage to vegetation, dumping of rubbish and the spread of weeds are associated with unauthorised off-road vehicle use in the reserve. It is critical that this activity is controlled in order to prevent further damage to the reserve’s values.
An estimated 60% of the reserve has been infested with Spanish heath (Erica lusitanica)
with the majority of this weed being found in the middle and western parts of the reserve. While the area infested by Spanish heath has been substantially reduced by the hard work and perseverance of care groups, it is recognised that eradication of this weed from the reserve is not possible at this stage.
The eastern part of the reserve, together with other strategic areas will be prioritised and actively managed to eradicate Spanish heath as resources permit and community support remains. Remaining areas will be managed to control Spanish heath along tracks, fire trails and firebreaks to reduce the potential for spread. This strategy may be reviewed if resource levels change.
Over the past 10 years, the Friends of Coningham and the Friends of Coningham, Oyster Cove and Lower Snug, through successfully securing funds and via their monthly working bees, have played a crucial role in reducing weed infestation in the reserve. Their dedication and efforts are appreciated, acknowledged and will continue to be supported to the greatest extent possible.