Work continues to protect Common

Ros Runciman and Allen Shrimpton from the Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust with the new gates. Photo: Michelle Mexon
Ros Runciman and Allen Shrimpton from the Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust with the new gates. Photo: Michelle Mexon

More work is being carried out at Dungog Common to help improve the locally important site.

Following on from extensive erosion control work in August, a new fence to help with grazing management and protecting Common Creek will be installed along the south side, and part of the north side of Common Road.

This work forms part of a major project to improve the quality of land and water at Dungog Common, with the primary goal to reduce sediment running into Common Creek which drains into the Williams River.

The project is a partnership between Hunter Local Land Services and the Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust (DCRRT).

Lorna Adlem, Senior Land Services Officer for Hunter Local Land Services, said the need for new fence was identified during the creation of the Dungog Common Grazing Management Plan earlier in the year.

“The fence will protect Common Creek and a high conservation site identified north of Common Road by reducing grazing pressure of this area,” said Ms Adlem.

“Cattle won’t be permanently excluded with grazing to be allowed intermittently when groundcover biomass levels increase so that fire and weed management of the site is maintained.”

Three cattle grids have already been installed as an initial part of the fencing work, across off-road tracks to allow continued vehicle access.

Agisted cattle will also have access to a fresh water supply through the installation of new tanks and troughs near the cattle yards.

Allen Shrimpton, Chair of the Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Trust sees the new infrastructure as a benefit to grazing and land management at the Common.

“The new infrastructure forms good practices for more sustainable grazing while also protecting the unique natural environment that we have here,” he said.

“We also now have a holding paddock area behind the cattle yards to make sure that cattle leaving or arriving at the Common pass any weed seeds to help prevent weed spread”.

“The new fence has been designed to allow for our recreational visitors with a number of easy access ways provided for walkers, runners, horse riders and mountain bike riders.”

Following the installation of the new fence, vehicle barriers will also be put in place to protect off-road vehicle tracks and paddock areas during very wet conditions.