More than 140 people enjoyed glorious, sunny weather at the Susan Island Open Day at Grafton on Sunday July 7.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) ranger Gina Hart said it was great see so many people visiting the island, many for the first time.
“NPWS, Envite and Susan and Elizabeth Island Trust (SEIT) members provided free guided walks through the nature reserve,” Ms Hart said.
“The guided walk through the lowland rainforest remnant was a great chance to learn about its biodiversity and the efforts underway to protect this jewel of the Clarence,” she said.
The State Emergency Service (SES) provided transport to the Island.
Ms Hart said that substantial works have been completed by SEIT volunteers and contractors over the past year.
“Funded by the Commonwealth Governments 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants program, valuable progress has been made in protecting and restoring smaller rainforest remnants on the Crown land,” she said.
“The island is a very special place to the Aboriginal women of the Clarence Valley, and a group of women (Nyami – woman, Julgaa – island) are acknowledged as the cultural custodians of the island.
“Historically, Susan Island was also a very important recreational area in the Clarence and was gazetted as a recreation reserve in 1870.
“The Island also serves as an important roosting and breeding site for grey-headed, little reds and black flying foxes.
“Susan Island protects an important remnant of floodplain rainforest – a rare survivor of the once extensive areas of lowland sub-tropical rainforest that covered the banks of the coastal rivers prior to European settlement.”
“Given the success of the last three tours, it is hoped that with SES support the open day will be an annual activity on the Clarence Valley calendar.”