WHAT do a proposed wetlands on the edge of the Bathurst CBD and the upgrade of the Great Western Highway at Raglan have in common?
One is contributing to the other.
Earthworks started in March to transform the Bathurst Brick Pit quarry site on Edgells Lane, off Hereford Street, into a wetlands habit for birds.
The earthworks, which council says will continue for much of this year, will create habitat types ranging from shallow to deeper pools.
This will improve habitat for migratory and threatened bird species that are already known to use the Brick Pit Wetlands.
The NSW Government announced in June last year that it would provide $100,000 towards the $300,000 first stage of the project.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said Transport for NSW is providing general fill from the $45 million Great Western Highway upgrade from Kelso to Raglan to help restore the site.
"This will benefit both the local bird population and the local community, with excavators starting their clean-up of the area," he said.
He said the wetlands cover about six hectares.
Mr Toole said stage one of the project includes works to excavate a deeper, open-water habitat zone and for revegetation.
"This will improve habitat for migratory and threatened bird species that are already known to use the Brick Pit Wetlands in suitable conditions," he said.
"It will be an important first step towards the creation of swampy meadow and shallow marsh zones to provide a greater diversity of habitats."
NSW Government funding is being used to carry out the excavation works, conduct erosion and sediment and top soil control works, and for planting of adjacent areas with native wetland species, as well as terrestrial species in the fringing vegetation areas.
Community planting days will be held to assist with revegetation works and provide education on the benefits of wetlands.
The Bathurst Brick Pits wetlands once comprised inter-connected pools and swamps which formed valuable habitat for wildlife, particularly waterbirds.
Bathurst Regional Council completed its acquisition of the wetland in mid-2017 and has been working since then to protect and restore the habitat.