A welcome wash-out for the scheduled October session. Nice rain. We will have a catch-up session on October 25/10 to target some seeding Broom. The very good news is that Streamwatch macroinvertebrate testing on 13/10/17 revealed lots of Mayfly nymphs and other bugs in Lawson Creek, downstream of the swamp. This nymph is very sensitive and requires very good water quality so their presence is pleasing. This is a big improvement on the last series of testing.
Mayfly nymph (centre). October 2017, Lawson Creek. Photo: P. Ardill
We continued working around the detention basin located near the former golf course. Weeds here include Broom, Blackberry, Privet, Lily, Indigofera sp. (planted but not native to the area) and Japanese Honeysuckle. Generally the swamp here is doing well.
The Lawson Butterfly project is picking up some planning momentum and looks likely to spring into action with a pilot project later this year, with the main event taking place next year. “Community involvement” is a major theme.
Lots of good things are happening at our ongoing regeneration site between the BMX track and Waratah Street. The BMCC Bush Regeneration Team has been working in there, and we can really see the difference, especially along the walking track. So thank you to them for this support. BMCC’s Bushlands Operation Co-Ordinator has also arranged for a bush regeneration contractor to remove another large stand of Privet on this site, and we thoroughly approve of that work too. The plan is to have the contractors working on the site on a regular basis, removing a section of weed each time. The long-term objective is to entirely remove this wall of weeds from the upper catchment of Lawson Creek and restore the native bush.
The bushcare group worked on the newly cleared area on Sunday 16/07/17 and we should be able to control any weed regrowth. Good native plants are starting to establish themselves there. All of this work represents excellent co-ordination and targeting of professional and volunteer work-time and skills and we have reason to suspect that our BMCC Bushcare Officer may have had a role in facilitating this process.
The Lawson Butterfly Project will be commencing in September.
Contractor work on large stand of Privet, regeneration site, Waratah St.-BMX track, July 2017 Photo: P.Ardill
Regeneration site between BMX track and Waratah St., July 2017 Photo: P.Ardill
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)
(Text on this website © 2016 Peter Ardill. Photos © 2017 Peter Ardill, BMCC, Vera Hong)