ONLY two of 45 ecosystems in Lake Macquarie have been given a top rating, inspiring the city council and Landcare to keep working to improve the environment.
A forest at Wangi Ridge and a rainforest at Swansea Heads were rated as having ‘‘excellent health’’.
A further 28 sites were rated as having ‘‘good health’’ and 12 sites had ‘‘fair health’’.
Two sites at Caves Beach (coastal headland heath) and one at Wyee (wetland) had ‘‘poor health’’.
The ratings are part of Lake Macquarie City Council’s ecosystem monitoring program, which measures the health of natural areas.
Council staff and volunteers evaluate the sites to create the ratings.
A council statement said the benefits included identifying flora and fauna species, measuring fallen logs and hollow-bearing trees for habitat, observing ground and canopy cover and regeneration of native species.
A new map and ecosystem health scorecards have been posted on the council’s website to enable people to see how natural areas rate in their neighbourhoods.
Wangi Ridge Preservation Board has been working to restore native vegetation on Wangi Ridge since 1987.
‘‘The longer you work on an area, the better it becomes,’’ board secretary Garth Chapman said.
‘‘It’s a relatively big site that has a lot of different features like a historical gun emplacement, a temperate rainforest and an old pig farm we are rehabilitating.’’
During World War II, the area was a secret military installation with an anti-aircraft command centre built to protect the Rathmines RAAF seaplane base from invading Japanese.
Mr Chapman, who is also Lake Macquarie Landcare Network chairman, said the organisation’s aim was to restore native vegetation.
MONITORED: A possum in a tree hollow at Coal Point.
EXCELLENT RESULT: Wangi Ridge Preservation Board secretary Garth Chapman said the organisation’s aim was to restore native vegetation.