In May and June the group has been working under the power lines to the west of Lawson oval, where there is some quite nice bushland : treated Turkey Rhubarb, Blackberry, Furmitory and Passionfruit.
We have been invited to participate in a special local regeneration project. Michael Hensen, Environmental Scientist, BMCC, has obtained funding to restore a butterfly hilltopping site in Lawson. This should be interesting and we are going to devote a few work sessions to the project. Other community groups will also be involved.
The BMCC bush regeneration team has just finished some much welcomed work in the swamp at the headwaters of Lawson Creek, just south of Waratah Street. This is a demanding area to work in and it’s great to have them in there. Privet and Blackberry were amongst the targets. Perhaps they got some Salix (Pussy Willow) too. This area has received professional contract bush regeneration work over the years, the last recorded time being in approximately 2008. Probably the Urban Runoff Control Program funded some work in there too c.2000, so it’s good to have this previous work supported by the Council regen team.Thanks also to our Bushcare Officer for liaising with the regen team and getting this work done.
After many months of hard work the bushcare group now has a film that commemorates twenty years of bushcare at South Lawson Park. Bushcare Blue Mountains: South Lawson Park examines the bushland values of the site and why bushland matters, the urban associated problems that we have encountered over the years (sediment flows, pollution, rubbish dumping, weeds) and what the group has done to manage these problems.
Many, many thanks to Vera Hong (Director and Camera) and Craig Bender (Camera and Aerial Camera), Seconds Minute Hours Productions, for the skill and generosity that they brought to the process of making this film. Thanks also to Greater Sydney Local Land Services and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program for financial assistance and also to BMCC for financial and administrative assistance. Congratulations to the current members of South Lawson Park bushcare, convenor Erst Carmichael, Bushcare Officer Karen Hising and former Bushcare Officers and group members for their work and contributions over the years.
The film has been distributed to all schools in the Blue Mountains and we hope that it will be a useful classroom resource for teachers of Geography, Science, Sustainability (cross curriculum) and Civics and Citizenship.
The film has some terrific cinematography that portrays the natural beauty of Lawson Creek and the waterfalls and walking tracks of the Lawson Creek Catchment. The hanging swamp sequence is surely very special. Please take a look!
The eight minute film can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/verahong/south-lawson-bushcare
In 2017 we intend to target a range of specific locations and weeds on the bushcare site, using a plan prepared by our BMCC bushcare officer. The regeneration site that we mainly focused on in 2016 is weed stable, but will need follow up in 2017.
Our January session for 2017 was focused on weeding work at the detention basin just south of the Ferris Lane carpark. Privet and Buddleia were removed from the basin, and Blackberry, Montbretia and a prolific exotic tree specimen were treated around the banks of the basin and along the stormwater channel that discharges into the creek. The detention basin is infested with Juncus microcephalus, a weed, in unmanageable proportions, and the seed from this infestation will flow into Lawson Creek.
Treating Montbretia and Creeping Buttercup at the detention basin, Jan 2017 (BMCC photo)
Removing Privet from the detention basin, Jan 2017 (BMCC photo)
Towards the end of 2015 BMCC arranged for contract bush regeneration work to be carried out alongside the northern headwaters of Lawson Creek, near Waratah Street. About 200 square metres of Privet, Honeysuckle and Blackberry were removed by the contractors.
In 2016 the bushcare group has focused on working in this treated area and its surrounds, removing remaining weeds and seedlings and in particular, regenerating the adjoining good areas of bushland. Lots of native ferns, sedges, grasses and shrubs are now doing well. We have also been treating Pussy Willow, Montbretia and Blackberry in the adjacent lagoon at the northern reaches of Lawson Creek.
Natural regeneration of Omalanthus populifolius (Bleeding Heart), Mar 2016
Native plants doing well in the regeneration area, including Omalanthus populifolius (Bleeding heart) left, Gleichenia dicarpa (Coral Fern) centre and Leptospermum sp. (Tea-tree) centre right, Mar 2016. Better than a Privet forest!
This is an important area to work in because weed seeds that develop here may well end up in the good bush of South Lawson Park, Blue Mountains National Park and the World Heritage Area, via the creek flow and bird dispersal. The upper reaches of Lawson Creek are still infested with large tracts of invasive weeds, but steady progress is being made in reducing their impact and scope. See Waratah Street.
Weeding Privet seedlings in the good bush, Oct 2016
(Photos and text on this website © 2016 P.Ardill unless otherwise indicated. Use for not for profit environmental and educational purposes is welcome and please acknowledge appropriately)