History of the Tilligerry Habitat Association
The Tilligerry Habitat Association Inc was formed in 1993 and looks after an area of just under 9 hectares plus surrounding Port Stephens Council land on the foreshores of Port Stephens between Tanilba and Mallabula. Thousands of volunteer hours have gone into projects in the Tilligerry Habitat Reserve. It is an amazing local community venture.
The site is being restored after the damage caused by mineral extraction in the sities and seventies. It has a large diversity of fauna and flora, with delightful existing and evolving bushland, wetland and shoreline. Throughout the project, ownership by the community of the Tilligerry Habitat has been central to the goals of the association.
The Straw Bale Environment Centre consists of bales placed between two timber plates, held together by strands of wire that are tightened to give the top plate a level sufficient to allow for the placement of the roofing timbers. Bird wire was spread over the walls externally and internally, and then cement plastered with an earthen red ochre. The effect is quite outstanding. The wall is the width of a straw bale. The construction is cool in summer and warm in winter.
How and why we built the boardwalks
There are loop trails around Tilligerry Habitat and along the nearby foreshore to take in the various eco-systems.
The boardwalks provide easy access and meander throughout. these were built primarily by volunteers with assistance from Tafe students, Port Stephens Council and various Landcare groups.
The construction involves careful planning to minimise disturbance to the native vegetation, awareness of water flow in heavy rain, fauna habitats and life cycles. If that isn’t enough we also need to provide access for fire and other emergency vehicles to the site.
Sandmining leaves the land flat destroying drainage lines. One of the first tasks was to redig the creeks. Minimising erosion is another important consideration for us. Construction also involves bridge building in some areas. Although we are a relatively flat reserve waterways need to be able to continue unimpeded.
Designing areas such as “The Hub” was a major venture and thank you to all those bodies who made it possible. The Hub now has History, information on the posts and is definitely worth a stop to see. The history of the area and time lines contain a wealth of information.
All this work amounts to the ability to view nature and our beautiful waterways up close and personal. Seating is provided along the paths for a rest and a chance to just sit and admire what is around you. Tranquility, soldier crabs, flora, fauna and harmony. It is a delightful walk and one that is taken regularly by locals. The view from “Birdsong Boardwalk” is a favourite amongst visitors and members alike with its resident blue wrens and pardolotes who tunnel beneath the deck