About

So where is Kooragang Wetlands? Who looks after it?

You can see it here on Google Maps.
Access is by crossing the Hunter River using the concrete bridge at Hexham (opposite Shamrock Street and Hexham McDonald’s). Kooragang Wetlands is open to the public and is now part of Hunter Wetlands National Park, which is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Standard park regulations apply.

The Friends of the Schoolmasters House Inc. (FOTSH)occupy the historic cottage once home to the headmaster of the local Ash Island school. Amongst the projects they are working on are

  • digitising a library of books, photos and other important material they have relating to the area’s history to make sure it is protected for the future.
  • Knit’nSew for Wildlife – making bedding and other items used by registered wildlife carers for care of rescued and injured native animals in the Hunter region.
  • Care and maintenance of the Schoolmasters House (SMH)building
  • Care for a fruit, flower and vegetable garden inside the Schoolmasters House fenced area
  • Planting, wedding, mulching native plants specific to Ash Island.
  • Using the Hunter Local Land Services nursery in the LLS works facility to propagate plants to support revegetation and natural resource management on and beyond Ash Island.

Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project?  (KWRP)

The Schoolmasters House was the administration centre for KWRP until 2018 when FOTSH formed as an incorporated and insured member of Landcare NSW and gained a lease with National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Many of the FOTSH volunteers volunteered with KWRP for many years and pay tribute to the rich legacy of environmental restoration and rehabilitation begun in 1993. That was the year KWRP was initiated  to compensate for the loss of fish, shorebird and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter estuary caused by 200 years of draining, filling and clearing. The wetlands feature expanses of mangrove and saltmarsh, and in non-tidal areas, riparian woodlands, remnants of lowland floodplain rainforest and ephemeral, freshwater wetlands.
KWRP focused on adaptive ecosystem management.

History of the Hunter Estuary:

The history of the Hunter River estuary is the history of the Kooragang Wetlands.
For more information on the History of the Hunter Estuary, click here. ←

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Our vision, aims and objectives:
Our vision is for an estuary in which healthy, restored fisheries and other wildlife habitat is in balance with a thriving port, the whole providing opportunities for research, education and recreation for people. Our aims are:

  • To help redress the loss of fisheries, shorebird, threatened species and other wildlife habitat in the Hunter Estuary due to clearing, draining and filling over the past 200 years by conserving, restoring and improving Kooragang Wetlands for nature conservation.
  •  To link applied research to wetland management and develop complementary opportunities for research, environmental education, recreation and nature-based tourism and demonstrate that local industry and conservation can work together for their mutual benefit.