Nearly 10,000 trees, shrubs and hedges have been planted in the first release of the new Epiq community at Lennox Head, with developer Clarence Property appointing local ecologists GeoLINK to manage conservation and environmental planning.

GeoLINK Senior Ecologist Veronica Silver has been working to conserve threatened plants on the 80-hectare Epiq site, and has activated the re-planting program to ensure the project’s sustainability. Ms Silver said two threatened species within the freshwater wetland – Square-stemmed Spike Rush and Hairy Joint Grass – are already being restored as part of an extensive conservation plan.

“Clarence Property has taken a responsible approach to Epiq by creating a conservation management plan from the outset, which means no development work is done without consultation in regard to environmental impact,” she said.

“A lot has already been achieved, with the planting of 7,000 native trees and 2,600 Square-stemmed Spike Rush, along with Hairy Joint Grass seed being spread over 2-hectare conservation zone.”

Ms Silver said Epiq’s conservation management plan protects freshwater wetland, littoral rainforest and swamp sclerophyll forest which are all endangered ecological communities.

“The plan not only covers conservation and rehabilitation – which includes weeding and pest management – but also the enhancement of endangered vegetation communities, which requires revegetation and ongoing monitoring to ensure these areas thrive” she said.

“In addition to caring for plant life, we look out for local fauna. GeoLINK staff complete surveys prior to any vegetation being removed from the site to ensure that no fauna habitat features are present. The substantial restoration work being completed at the site will increase habitat for a range of local fauna species.

“The trees that have been planted will increase the area of rainforest present which will provide habitat for fauna that prefer this type of vegetation. Several large figs and tuckeroos are also being kept within the site which will provide stepping stones for mobile fauna and provide beautiful natural landmarks for residents to visit.”