Community News

Eager participants are “all ears”. Image: Barbara Winters

Koala care walk & talk at Ashby

The Ashby Nature Discovery team and the Clarence Valley Koala Working Group proved recently that we can still enjoy Covid-safe community events in the outdoors. The Ashby Hall Reserve is the perfect location to make new connections and go for a walk and learn more about nature while social distancing.

The koala care walk & talk on Sunday July 18 was the biggest event of the new Ashby Nature Discovery project so far. There were 25 locals, plus five members from the Clarence Valley Koala Working Group as the workshop providers. It was a big success, with participants from aged one to almost 90 years old. 

After an introduction by Rachel Callahan from the Ashby Nature Discovery team, Linda Wright and Vickii Lett from the Koala Working Group held talks to teach the community how to report koala sightings or sick animals, explain how they care for koalas and what we can all do as land, pet, and car owners to keep them safer, among other great information. 

During the nature walk, Mick Webb from Envite answered questions about weed identification for those able to clear potential or known koala habitats to give them better access. Tim Watson from the Lions-Environmental food tree planting group was there to provide leaflets and maps and also answer questions. Danny Lett, another active Koala Working Group member, provided information about the favourite koala food and habitat trees.

Heather Prowse, a WIRES carer in Ashby Heights, reminded everyone to call 1300WIRES if you see a koala that may be sick. Her partner David (88) is the oldest Ashby Nature Discovery volunteer and he was pleased to see that the koala that he once helped rescue, “Ashby David”, made its way into the presentation.

The gathered locals enjoyed a lovely walk along the newly created Ashby Nature Discovery Trail, which is created by local volunteers and will get perfected during a next working bee on August 20, with the help of expert Yaegl bush regenerators from Envite (everyone in the Clarence Valley can come and help out that day if they RSVP).

There was tea and coffee afterwards and Nature Discovery team member Helen Pye brought a big basket of delicious koala cookies that looked almost too good to eat.

This activity was capped at 25 participants to give everyone the best experience and stay Covid safe. For those who missed out; follow the Clarence Valley Koala Working Group and Ashby Hall Reserve, NSW Facebook pages to learn more.

The Clarence Valley Koala Working Group do awesome work. If you love koalas, consider supporting them with a donation, or by becoming a volunteer. 

The Ashby Nature Discovery project is made possible by bushfire recovery grants from Healthy North Coast and Clarence Valley Council and is supported by the Ashby Hall Reserve Crown Land Manager and many amazing volunteers. To join the Ashby Nature Discovery team or provide a nature-themed workshop of your own, contact Barbara Winters by emailing

Barbara Winters


Helen Pye and her big basket of delicious koala cookies. Image: Barbara Winters.
Walking the trail. Image: Barbara Winters.
Vickii Lett from the Koala Working Group. Image: Barbara Winters.
Learning all about koalas from a young age. Image: Barbara Winters.