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Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park celebrate 30 years of voluntary conservation work

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, August 17, 2018

On Saturday 11th August the Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park braved cold conditions to celebrate their 30th anniversary in Waitpinga Campground. The volunteer group held their initial meeting in 1988, and this special day marked 30 years of voluntary conservation work in the park. This group of very dedicated volunteers assist with many important park projects including weed control, revegetation and most recently, monitoring Western Pygmy Possums to study population and distribution in the area.

The Park is a 1,152 ha Conservation Park situated at Waitpinga, 15 minutes from Victor Harbor. The Park is renowned for its superb fishing and surfing beaches, rare and endangered species of plants, birds and animals, stunning coastline and beautiful walking trails. A huge draw card for many visitors - local, state-wide and national. The annual visitation is estimated at 100,000 people.

The Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, also attended the day. He gave out awards along with Senior Ranger Seiji Iwao and member of the Friends group, Winston Syson. A number of members also celebrated 20, 10 and 5 years of volunteering with the group. Along with these awards, previous members Ron and Pam Taylor were also acknowledged for 20 years of outstanding contribution to environmental conservation in the park. They were key founders of the group and their passion and commitment to the park were second to none (see photo).

Group members gathered at Dennis Hut in Waitpinga campground for the giving of awards by Minister Speirs, followed by a BBQ lunch. A small special ceremony was also held in the afternoon to remember previous member Robin Rowett who passed away 15 months earlier. Robin was a very dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer, so the group used this opportunity to celebrate his contribution to the park and passion for the area. Family members planted trees to commemorate Robin in a special place held dear to his heart overlooking spectacular views of the ocean.

The Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park are supported by Department for Environment and Water National Parks staff and Friends of Parks Inc., along with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Volunteer Support Program. The 30 year celebration event was funded by the Friends Group with support by the Volunteer Support Program and NRM Levy.

The Friends of Newland Head Conservation Park currently hold weekly Frieday working bees in the park and monthly working bees on a Saturday. In addition, the group participate in 6-weekly monitoring surveys of Western Pygmy Possums checking nesting boxes for activity. For anyone who would like to get involved in this fantastic group of local volunteers, please contact Simon and Lee on simonandlee01@gmail.com.

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