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Rehabilitation of Pinnacle Road Quarry

Rehabilitation of pinnacle road Quarry

 The Pinnacle Road Quarry was a highly degraded, but significant bush reserve located off Pinnacle Road in Orange. A former blue stone quarry of approximately 5 hectares in size, this site unfortunately become a dumping site for soil, vegetation and other materials following decommissioning of the quarry. This land is located in the newly developed Shiralee residential development and has changed classification from operational land to the present status as an open space reserve.

Rock walls exposed during former quarry operations

Rock walls exposed during former quarry operations

While the Pinnacle Road Quarry Reserve is home to some remnant eucalypt trees which provide good tree cover, the remaining vegetation was dominated by exotic shrubs and grasses leaving the site in a degraded, weed infested state. It was identified that the key priorities in order to rehabilitate the reserve were to control the weeds using a combination of mechanical and herbicide control, and to then revegetate the area with appropriate native plant species in order to provide suitable habitat for local wildlife.

A forest mulcher has been utilised at the site to mulch the woody weeds, with herbicide application following to control any regrowth of weeds at the site. This has dramatically changed the site and allowed for light penetration to the ground which will be integral to the success of the newly planted species.

Weed infestation prior to works commencing

Weed infestation prior to works commencing

The site following removal of weeds by the forest mulcher

The site following removal of weeds by the forest mulcher

A flora survey was conducted in order to provide baseline assessment of the ecological health of the reserve. An impressive 42 species of native plants were located. In order to continue the rehabilitation works at the site, seed will be collected from the remnant native vegetation and propagated to provide the plants for revegetation works. Additionally, fencing of the site will be conducted in order to control vehicle access to the site.

It is anticipated that in coming years, as the newly planted vegetation becomes established, that an increase in the general biodiversity of the site will be realised. The site acts as an important habitat parcel in its own right, but is also contributing to a larger wildlife corridor throughout the Shiralee development and beyond. On-going maintenance by Orange City Council will ensure that there is a reduced ability for woody weeds to reinfest the site, while providing important habitat for a range of native animals.