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Recent workshops in Pappinbarra, Tingha, Orangeville/ Werombi and Wingello

Wednesday, 26th June 2019

Recent workshops in Pappinbarra, Tingha, Orangeville/ Werombi and Wingello

The Hotspots team has delivered four workshop series since January across NSW with a fifth one being completed in the southern community of Tarraganda on June 30.

Pappinbarra: On February 9 Hotspots facilitator John Allen and Hotspots ecologist Mark Graham held the first workshop day for the community at Pappinbarra, on the Mid-North Coast in the Hastings River catchment. The Pappinbarra Valley is part of a broad forested corridor connecting coastal habitats with the forested hinterland ranges and is an environmentally significant landscape with considerable conservation value. It has more than 55 threatened species, including the Vulnerable and declining koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), which the workshops highlighted through works done by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

The workshop attracted 32 residents and 29 fire management plans were created for 2830ha of land of which 2306ha is native vegetation. A third workshop was delivered on May 11 to allow participants to observe and participate in a practical burn after rain hampered the first attempt, with windy conditions providing a good opportunity to discuss the effects of weather on fire behaviour.

Tingha: The second northern region workshop was held in the community at Tingha and was led by Hotspots NSW RFS facilitator Jamie Bertram and NCC ecologist Mark Graham. Tingha is in the centre of the Tingha Plateau, a prominent high elevation western extension of the Great Dividing Range at the headwaters of the Gwydir River in the Darling River catchment. Plans for a workshop in Tingha started early in the year, but in February a major fire swept through the region. Because of the fire, the Hotspots team, in consultation with the community, changed the workshop series location and focus, with a new back-to-back format with workshops 1 and 2 on consecutive days. The workshop was held on May 7 and 8 with a fauna spotlighting activity the night before workshop 2.

Overall participants reported the workshops were a benefit with one participant saying, “I found it very beneficial engaging with like-minded people and learning more about cultural fire burns and the environment.” The Hotspots team also found the consecutive delivery successful, allowing for a continuity of conversations and thoughts across both workshops.

Orangeville/ Werombi: Two Hotspots workshop series were held in the communities of Orangeville/Werombi and Wingello in the central region of NSW. Orangeville/Werombi is south-west of Sydney at the south-eastern edge of the Blue Mountains and the south-western margin of the Cumberland Plain. The first workshop day was held at the end of February with 21 landholders creating 17 fire management plans. Workshops indicated participants established connections with previously unknown neighbours, and plan  to get involved in follow-up activities led by the brigade and the community.

Wingello: The first Wingello workshop was held later in the year on April 11. Wingello is on a ridge at the southern edge of the Paddys River catchment, with the Shoalhaven River catchment and the vast vegetated forests of the Morton National Park and North Ettrema Wilderness Area to the south. There were 12 local Wingello attendees and three agency representatives, leading to the production of nine property fire management plans.

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