Nature Calls

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Thirty Hunter Valley Operations (HVO) apprentices planted 420 trees at the Lake Liddell Recreation Area for Landcare during a skills development and community giving day on May 6.

Fourth year plant mechanic apprentice Dan Fibbens co-ordinated HVO’s involvement in the volunteering day. He said Landcare had done a really good job helping to regenerate the land and the team helped Hunter Region Landcare Network chairman Stephen Thatcher to put the finishing touches on the planting project.

Dan said regenerating the land is important and it will create a place for families to enjoy.

“We’ll be able to come back in a few years with our families and see what we have done,” Dan said.

“It is nice to volunteer your time and see the impact.” 

He said the apprentices taking part, especially the first-year apprentices, get an opportunity to meet each other, learn skills and learn about what community groups such as Landcare do.

Since 2004, Hunter Region Landcare Network has been working in the area, planting more than 22,000 trees and undertaking, erosion control, mulching trials, vegetation mapping, wind breaks, salinity studies and weed removal.

Stephen said the group had received a grant from Hunter Local Land Services to plant out a four-hectare paddock with endangered Central Hunter Ironbark, Spotted Gum and Grey Box trees endemic to the area in the area before Liddell Power Station was built. He said the project will benefit the environment and the community.

“We are planting more endangered species and local people will get to see a paddock of trees rather than bare earth and grassland,” Stephen said.

“The trees will connect to other remnants of forest to bring in birds and animals who can thrive in this community we are building up.”

He said the HVO apprentices were fantastic.

“We met prior to plan out the day and HVO brought equipment including a digger and auger. It is hard to get labour. They got straight into it and were finished in no time.”

“To get a team of about 40 people for the day was the shot in the arm the project needed. To see the finished product, a few hours later, was really satisfying.

“I was very impressed by the work ethic, the way everyone bought into the task and helped each other. The site was immaculate when they left.”

“A big appreciation from our group and the Lake Liddell Recreation Area Reserve Land Manager. Without the HVO apprentices we’d still be here in a few months time.”

Second year auto electrical apprentices Jake Hendry and Noah Iles both enjoyed putting up their hands to help. Jake said it was good to meet other apprentices and build the culture up.

Noah agreed it was great getting together with the all the boys and communicating positively. He said the day was character building.

“It is very important for HVO staff to be here today because we care about the community and the places that surround our site,” Noah said.

“Today benefits us and the people we are volunteering for.”

To find out more about or support the work of Hunter Regional Landcare Network visit

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