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Coastal Restoration – The mighty Tweed

  • Stotts Island Nature Reserve (map)


Participants will explore three separate coastal restoration projects in the Tweed, an area that supports Australia’s third highest diversity of flora and fauna and contains one of the highest concentrations of threatened species.

Commence the day by exploring a reconstruction project where 5 km of coast has been converted from a monoculture of weed (mainly bitou bush) to littoral rainforest and sclerophyll communities. Contributions on the day from government representatives, professional contractors and community can answer your questions on any part of planning, implementation, monitoring and maintenance process.

Participants will travel to nearby Pottsville Environment Park where assisted regeneration has facilitated the recovery of a range of coastal vegetation communities over the last 10 years.

Lunch will be enjoyed as you look over the Stotts Island Nature Reserve, one of the largest remaining areas of lowland floodplain rainforest in New South Wales. Ecological restoration work has been occurring on this hard to access site since the 1990’s. Discussions on approaches to restoration and techniques applied can occur over lunch.

You will then travel to a 60 ha site that is being restored via good planning and assisted regeneration. The site contains saltmarsh, mangrove, lowland rainforest and sclerophyll forest. The works being undertaken along the ridge of the site is a great example of how to convert camphor laurel forest to native vegetation via assisted regeneration. The project includes participation of landholders, Council and professional contractors.


The Tweed has the third highest biodiversity of flora and fauna in Australia and supports one of the highest concentrations of threatened plants and animals in Australia. Conserving and enhancing the biodiversity of the area is a key priority of the local Council.

Site 1 - Tweed Coast – Casuarina Beach, Salt, Seaside City reconstruction of coastal vegetation

Approximately 5 km of highly degraded dune system previously containing a monoculture of the invasive introduced bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata) has been converted to littoral rainforest and sclerophyll ecosystems. The project includes detailed planning, implementation and monitoring over a 5 year period with intermittent follow up weed control over the past 8 years. Contributors to the project include the participation of a Dunecare group, Tweed Shire Council and experienced Bush Regenerators.

Morning tea at Pottsville Environment Park.

Site 2 - Pottsville Wetland– assisted regeneration of range of coastal vegetation communities

The site has undergone assisted regeneration over the past 10 years together with koala habitat plantings over the past three years as part of implementing the Tweed Coast Habitat Management Plan. The project has included participation of Tweed Shire Council and Friends of Koala.

Lunch at picnic area adjacent to Stotts Island.

Stotts Island Nature Reserve is one of the largest remaining areas of lowland floodplain rainforest in NSW. Like other floodplain vegetation it is classified as an endangered ecological community in NSW. Lowland floodplain rainforest is listed as critically endangered under Commonwealth legislation.

Stotts Island has had assisted generation since late 1990’s and work continues there to date. It is hard to access though some areas can be viewed from the picnic area. Efforts over the years have included the National Parks and Wildlife teams, professional Bush Regenerators and Tweed Shire Council.

Site 3 - Camphor laurel conversion, Terranora

Detailed planning and a three year program commenced in 2015. Approximately 60 ha of private land is the remainder of a subdivision and a requirement with Council to carry out planning and restoration. The south facing ridge of degraded lowland rainforest slopes down to river frontage which includes lowland sclerophyll forest, saltmarsh and mangroves. The forest on the ridge varies from >80% to <10% camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) and is being restored via assisted regeneration. The site is highly diverse and includes 12 threatened plant species. Restoration works include participation of landholders, Tweed Shire Council and professional contractors.

Cost: $50 per person. Includes travel, packed morning tea and lunch and restoration guides.

Date and time: Friday 28th September 08:00 – 17:00. Depart and return from/to UQ.