“I’ve only ever seen one platypus in the creek here before, because they’re so secretive”
For Colin and Helene Angus, tranquil Palm Grove was the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of Sydney. Settling on a 35 acre block in the early 1980s, the couple enjoy the space and slower pace of the Ourimbah Creek valley, sharing their slice of heaven with wallabies, wombats, quolls and even platypus.
“I’ve only ever seen one platypus in the creek here before because they’re so secretive” said Colin. “But there is a healthy population of platypus locally. A researcher from the University of Newcastle studied the platypus here several years ago and named two of them Colin and Helene!”
Colin has done his bit to look after Ourimbah Creek which not only provides drinking water to Central Coast residents but is vital to the health of Tuggerah Lakes.
“In 2012, the creek bank was fenced off to prevent stock entering the stream to drink” explains Colin. “They now drink from troughs in the paddock.” The water quality in Ourimbah Creek has improved as the stock no longer erode the streambank with their hooves and the riparian (streambank) vegetation has recovered. This vegetation is critical for stabilising the soil and without it, the platypus would not be able to burrow successfully.
Colin enjoys the quiet life in rural Palm Grove, but there is always something to do. “You start five jobs and ten pop-up,” he says. When asked how other rural landholders can help improve the water quality in our waterways, Colin is quick to answer “Don’t dump any waste on your block and don’t clear trees and other vegetation from streambanks. Also, control your weeds and join your local Landcare group.”
To find out more about our local platypus and how you can help them, watch this video.
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