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Hunter Wetlands welcomes new species

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The Hunter Wetlands Centre has welcomed a new species at its Sandgate address.

The lizard-like creature has four legs and is 5.5 metres long, from head to tail. 

Spotted in the trees near Brambles Pond, the unique creature has a friendly face and loves kids climbing on it. 

The yet to be named reptilian is one of three new play installations in the grounds of the centre. 

Wetlands CEO, Ken Bayliss said the new addition was bound to attract a wide range of visitors.

“We wanted to add some fun and adventure for kids exploring the wetlands,” he said.

“We also wanted structures that would sit well in our natural environment and have appeal for visitors of all ages. 

“Port Waratah Coal Services shared our vision and very generously covered the construction and installation costs.

“The installations constructed by Timber Creations Nature Play from reclaimed native timbers fitted our requirements perfectly.”

As well as the lizard, the reserve has welcomed a winged creature inspired by Magpie Geese. 

“The third installation is something different – a nature play area with a teepee shelter, activity table and ropes to draw kids in to build their own play around this space,” Mr Bayliss said.

“All three installations are located around Brambles Pond and are an easy walk from the Visitor Centre.”

Port Waratah CEO Hennie du Plooy said his company was proud to play a part in the project.

“Supporting the Hunter Wetlands Centre to create enchanting playgrounds was an easy decision. 

“They help to foster community interest in this significant environmental haven and provide active play areas for children.” 

A naming competition is planned for the lizard-like creature, with the community encouraged to visit the Hunter Wetlands Centre Facebook page for details.

The Hunter Wetlands Centre is a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers.

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