The Cullen Bullen Waste Depot Rehabilitation Project.
New Era Total have just completed a project in a little town called Cullen Bullen which is on the Castlereagh Highway 28 km’s north of Lithgow. The site was an old waste dumping depot and recently Lithgow City Council has received their waste handling methods and have closed down several depots that were being used illegally. There is an existing dam on the site as well as a few ephemeral wet spots which is ideal for encouraging wildlife back into the area.
Surprising the dam water must be of good quality despite having run off from a previously contaminated area as it has a healthy populations of frogs! New era won the tender to rehabilitate the site after another contractor complete the process of removing the contaminated material and replacing it with sandstone mulch and an organic mulch layer. In the tender the respondents were given free license to rehabilitate the area the way they athey saw best and our rehabilitation plan was the one that the council accepted.
What we did!
The work involved some minor drainage and redirection using our positrack plus the installation of 102 coir logs and 150 silk socks at strategic points across the landform to control stormwater from causing erosion damage.
We also planted 2,300 plants from our partners at Bluedale Wholesale Nursery and another 500 “local species” from Lithgow Community Nursery . The New Era team have collected mature seed from the adjoining busland and spotcast it across the site. Of course it will be a while before we see whether this was successful but the site is certainly getting some good rainfall events to assist us in keeping the plants thriving and hopefully settling in the seed we did cast.
Much of our work on this site is familiar work to any of the New Era & Ecoplant teams; like installing the coir logs & silk socks as well as jute matting some of the bunds at the entrance. However our teams did have the opportunity to upskill themselves on this projects with jobs that are a little bit “out of the ordinary”. They collected wood form the bushland floor, as well as from 3 trees on the site that were blown over in high winds, and made up several habitat piles across the site. The idea of these is to create hides for small creatures such as reptiles and invertebrates as the site slowly matures with the growth of the plantings and regeneration from newby bushland.
They also made up some awesome nesting hollows out of some log hollows from fallen trees that were able to be placed into trees around the verges of the site (to encourage the bird population to the site)
Our clients, Lithgow City Council are very pleased with the outcome of the work, and with continuing luck in the form of more wet weather, the site will flourish. Nevertheless we have also used our water card on occasion to ensure we don’t lose plants.
NewEra Total have an ongoing commitment for weed control and plant maintenance on this site and there is some additional planting being negotiated at the moment for the future.