These archives of yearly bushcare activities and events commenced in mid 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
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.
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.
AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
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.
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.
At our regular work session on Sunday 17/12 we worked around the golf course detention basin and then along our planted riparian corridor, treating blackberry, montbretia, japanese honeysuckle, creeping buttercup, broom and turkey rhubarb. The BMCC bush regeneration team has done some welcome remediation work (brush-matting) along the eroded Lawson Creek banks above Adelina Falls.
With the welcome rain having washed out a few sessions we had a catch-up session this am, Friday, December 1. The area to the west of the oval, the fine swamp under the power lines, was treated for blackberry, formosan lily, passion fruit vine and turkey thubarb……BIG turkey rhubarb! Hopefully this area is now predominantly rid of blackberry. The normal December session on the third Sunday will also be held, weather permitting.
Work continued on the regeneration area adjacent to west Waratah Street, and in the adjoining swamp. Privet, Deadly Nightshade, Japanese Honeysuckle and Blackberry were targeted. Plans for next year were discussed; the regeneration areas adjacent to Waratah Street need lots of attention! Then it was time for an end-of-year morning tea.
Lots of activity this November. On November 9th & 11th members of the bushcare group and visitors participated in fauna surveys around the site. On the actual bushcare day, Sunday 18th, members of the group participated in the Spring 2018 Wild Pollinator Count survey. See Archives for the results of these surveys. As our convenor emailed, “Congratulations to all!”
On the same Sunday the group also squeezed in some regeneration work on the Waratah Street western regeneration area. The weeds, as well as the natives, have been enjoying the rain.
It now looks like the Lawson Butterfly Project will get underway in autumn of next year, so that’s another exciting project to look forward to.
We have extended our formal hours for each third Sunday of the month session: 9am – 12noon. However, members are always welcome to come and go as suits. This entry was posted in General on 25 November, 2018. Edit
Work continued in Waratah Street, removing Privet, Blackberry and Japanese Honeysuckle from the woodland and swamp there. Some natural regeneration of Hakea sp. is occurring.
September saw us working again in the bushland adjacent to Waratah Street. A carpet of Privet seedlings remains a challenge here. Willow, Blackberry, flowering Broom and Privet were treated in the Lawson Creek upper swamp. This entry was posted in General on 21 September, 2018. Edit
We continued working in the regen area adjacent to east Waratah Street. Lots of Privet to remove but also some nice regeneration happening. The small Australian marsupial Antechinus has been busy here too! This entry was posted in General on 22 August, 2018. Edit
2018 BMCC Healthy Waterways Report
In the recently released report Lawson and Cataract Creeks received ‘Fair’ ratings and the rest of the Erskine Creek catchment was rated “Good” to “Excellent”! This is an improvement for Lawson Creek, which only got a “Poor” last year. We had detected an improvement when we did macroinvertebrate sampling last October and it looks like this has held up into 2018. The report should be posted on https://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/waterquality soon. This entry was posted in General on 26 July, 2018. Edit
This session the group worked at the eastern end of the unformed Waratah Street section, treating Turkey Rhubarb, Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle and Broom. It would seem that we have Sugar Gliders in the area, so that’s great! This area just used to be a forest of Privet, so removal of it may have enhanced the glider’s habitat and particularly feeding opportunities. This entry was posted in General on 16 July, 2018. Edit
In June we continued with our regeneration site work near Waratah Street. The Leptospermum polygalifoliums (tea-trees) and native grasses ares doing well here and the Privet is under control.
We had an avian visitor, a Grey Fantail, Rhipidura albiscapa. S/he was constantly buzzing us (inquisitive?!), and also snatching insects in this sunny spot. Previously about the only bird life seen in this area were Bulbuls feeding on Privet seed. An Eastern yellow robin (Eopsaltria australis) stopped to admire our work…and to have a feed too!
A recce done on Friday 22/6/18 reveals that it is possible to walk through the wall of weeds that runs adjacent to the southern edge of Waratah Street, with a bit of bending, ducking and scrambling. Privet and Blackberry dominate. An occasional good fern and wattle were also found. We might start some work in there soon. This entry was posted in Weeding, Wildlife on 25 June, 2018. Edit
In May the Bushcare group continued with the work commenced in April, treating weeds in the regeneration site adjacent to Waratah Street. Our Bushcare Officer is pleased with the progress in this area and further expansion of the work here is being considered, with a “recce” planned.
It’s also good to hear that the BMCC Bush Regeneration Team has been working along Lawson Creek in the carpark area, and that contractors have been working near the RMS detention basin and through the swamp on Lawson Creek. This entry was posted in General on 27 May, 2018. Edit
This month we resumed work on our site immediately adjacent to the unformed section of Waratah Street. This area, normally quite damp, is now drying out a bit, due to the decreased rainfall of the last year. The natural ferns are struggling and the weeds Deadly Nightshade, Privet and Montbretia are doing well. We spent the time consolidating recovered natural bushland areas and weeding around remnant areas of good bushland. The same area is depicted in the post of July, 2017. A challenging site! This entry was posted in General on 5 May, 2018. Edit
A hot day saw us working in and around the mid-stream Lawson swamp, opposite the oval. Weeds included Blackberry, Privet, Arum lily, Montbretia and Japanese honeysuckle. Sections of this swamp are in nice condition but quite a bit of it still needs a lot of help.
Another hot day saw us working between Lawson oval and the rather dryish upper section of Lawson swamp, treating Privet, Blackberry, Arum Lily, Montbretia and Japanese Honeysuckle. Lawson Creek is only about half its normal width; mud flats are exposed. Hopefully the heavy rain around the upper Mountains on Monday evening of 19/2 evening extended down to Lawson. This entry was posted in General on 20 February, 2018. Edit
On a very hot day the group removed juvenile Privet, Turkey Rhubarb, Buttercup, flowering Montbretia and invasive Strawberry from the creek riparian zone opposite the playing fields. This entry was posted in General on 25 January, 2018. Edit
Australian Museum Award!
The prestigious Australian Museum reckons we do a good job! We enjoy working with Gregory and the team there.
Congratulations to all those involved with Lawson StreamWatch over the years.
Congratulations to all StreamWatch award winners:
Long Term Commitment (Schools) – Recognising ongoing commitment over a number of years
|Penrith High School||28 years|
|Seven Hills High School||25 years|
|The Illawarra Grammar School||22 years|
|Ryde TAFE||21 years|
|St Andrews College||20 years|
|Blakehurst High School||19 years|
Long Term Continuity (Groups) – Recognising many years of monitoring with minimal break
|Glenorie Environment and Creative Arts Centre||23 years|
|Eastbend Rural Communications||19 years|
|Lawson StreamWatch Group||16 years|
|Cowan Catchment StreamWatch Group||16 years|
|Royal National Park NPWS||15 years|
|Cattai Catchment Landcare and Annangrove Public School||15 years|
What better way to start a new year than with a good piccy. Thanks to our bushcare officer for getting this great snap.
(Australian Copyright Act 1968 applies. Text and photos are subject to copyright)
Today’s work session was cancelled as it was too smoky, uncomfortable and an adverse impact on health.
Our Bushcare Officer and Rob have provided the following information about the assessment of air quality in the Blue Mountains: https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/2019/epamedia190514-air-quality-monitoring-project-in-blue-mountains-kicks-off
We continued working in our Waratah Street restoration area. The clumps of Privet are steadily being reduced and the Blackberry in the swamp is nearly gone. Satisfying work! Getting a bit dry now but the creek is keeping up a healthy trickle. Welcome to new member Max. This entry was posted in General on 18 November, 2019. Edit
At these sessions we continued work in the regeneration area and swamp near Waratah Street. The Privet and Blackberry are gradually diminishing…gradually! Nice to have new member Helen along in October. Our Duke Of Edinburgh Award student is hoping to be back with us soon for another stint of Privet lopping, after a major river trip. We look forward to hearing about it!
Work continued in our regeneration area around the headwaters of Lawson Creek. Slow but steady progress here! The regenerating flora is now heading towards two metres in height. Lots of privet bit the dust, courtesy of our D of E placement student, who is really getting the hang of bushcare practice! Progress in the swamp is good, and the actual basin is now moving towards a weed free status…but still plenty to do around the edge. This entry was posted in General on 19 August, 2019. Edit
We continued the work in our restoration area around the headwaters of Lawson Creek. The native grasses are re-vegetating the regeneration area quite vigorously and tea-trees and hakeas are growing strongly. In another year or two this whole area should be covered in native vegetation. Work in the swamp is going well and the intact bushland is pretty much weed free now. Nice to have along our Duke of Edinburgh student again, who also engages in a bit of bushwalking, rock climbing and navigation when not restoring indigenous bushland. This entry was posted in General on 22 July, 2019. Edit
Washout this month. The good news is that the Greater Sydney Landcare Network has taken over the running of the StreamWatch program from Australian Museum. Good to see the program continuing! This entry was posted in General on 3 July, 2019. Edit
Following an Easter break we resumed work in the regeneration area and swamp near west Waratah Street. These two areas are shaping up well, with lots of natural vegetation present or germinating and just needing a bit of assistance with weed control.
It was a real pleasure to host at this session a local high school student (and his Dad) who chose to include a bushcare component in his Duke Of Edinburgh Award program. The extra pairs of hands were very welcome. This entry was posted in General on 20 May, 2019. Edit
Work continued in the west Waratah Street regeneration area. The regenerating tea-trees and native grasses are taking over from the weeds…with a little help from us! Mature Bleeding Heart trees have large bunches of spectacular fruit on display. Masses of Blechnum ferns are recovering from the dry spell. Rampant Blackberry in the swamp is being steadily subdued, with seed bearing fruit being collected. This entry was posted in General on 18 February, 2019. Edit
It’s holiday season, but a dedicated team got some serious work done. They followed up on previous work in the open contract area near west Waratah Street and removed lots of Blackberry Nightshade and flowering Montbretia. It was pleasing to see great regeneration of Leptospermum (Tea-tree), Bleeding Heart and native grasses, particularly Entolasia and Microlaena. This entry was posted in General on 16 February, 2019. Edit Search for:
BMCC Bushcare Officer report:
We continued our work in the western regeneration area north of the BMX track. Our Duke of Edinburgh Award student continued carefully thinning the dense screen of vines and woody weed material along unformed Waratah Street. Others worked on the corner of unformed Waratah Street and the walking track, removing large and juvenile Privet – it looks so good in that area now. Work was also done along the walking track, removing seedlings/small Privet. (Fallen branches were also removed from the walking track during the September session, and brushmatting done). The ground-layer edge in the open area of the regeneration area was weeded, to encourage natural regeneration of indigenous flora.
Streamwatch convenor report:
Despite the heavy rain, the Streamwatch data for the month was good. Turbidity: excellent; phosphates: average; salt levels: low; oxygen: average; acidity: average. Must be some good bush around! This entry was posted in General on 1 January, 2021. Edit
A busy morning in the western regeneration area! Our Duke of Edinburgh Award student undertook soil augering on four sites, to determine the quality of the soil and its moisture levels. The results were noted and photographed. This will help with determining the flora species to plant around the site. Certainly, two spots were very damp, with strong sub-surface water flows. Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle and weedy grasses were also managed during this session.
Bushcare Leader Sandy Benson also attended this session, to help celebrate twenty-five years of bushcare at South Lawson Park. She brought some good news: the Lawson Butterfly project is about to get under way, and we have been invited to participate.
Streamwatch convenor: good water quality.
So lovely to have our regular BMCC Bushcare Officer Karen back today, bringing all of her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm (and Nathan did a great job too). Also a full turnout of wonderful bushcarers, and we all got on with various restoration chores in the west regeneration area and central swamp. Privet, Salix cinerea and Yorkshire Fog grass were treated. In the swamp, Melaleuca armillaris, Blackberry, Salix cinerea, Japanese Honeysuckle and Privet (trimmed along the stream) received attention. The upper catchment of Lawson Creek is being transformed into a rich area of indigenous flora and fauna diversity.
Good water quality was recorded in the upper tributary of Lawson Creek, in ecological restoration area by Streamwatch convenor: oxygen, phosphates, acidity, and turbidity. See our StreamWatch page. This entry was posted in General on 18 October, 2020. Edit
This session featured more seed collecting and further work in the eastern Waratah Street section, removing Privet. Great progress being made here and the area is starting to look nice and bushy! Good progress in the swamp too and the mature Privet is nearly expelled. This entry was posted in General on 30 August, 2020. Edit
This month the group undertook a lot of seed collecting along the eastern banks of upper Lawson Creek. Leptospermum polygalifolium, Callicoma serratifolia, Hakea dactyloides, Kunzea ambigua, Hakea salicifolia, Eucalyptus piperita and Echinopogon caespitosus were collected for future planting. Great work! This entry was posted in General on 14 August, 2020
Nice to resume work! Welcome to new member William. We did preparatory work for future planting of local species in the Waratah Street regeneration area, collected Tea-tree and Hakea seed, and removed more Privet along the Waratah Street frontage (west and centre). Also weeded around the ferns. This entry was posted in General on 27 June, 2020. Edit
Bushcare resumes in June, but with Covid-19 conditions in place. Please go to ‘About Us/Contacts’ and contact the Bushcare Officer/Team Leader if you wish to attend but are not already on the mailing list. New members welcome but at the present time attendance conditions apply. This entry was posted in General on 15 June, 2020. Edit
All BMCC Bushcare and Greater Sydney Landcare StreamWatch activities for volunteers have now been suspended, due to the current health crisis. Fortunately, all staff remain on duty and are able to continue with their regular work.
A big group today and welcome to new member Lesley. We continued work in the west Waratah Street regeneration area, tackling Privet and Ivy, and also removing invasive grasses. Very strong regeneration of the local Entolasia sp. grass here now. Our Swamp Wallaby loves this “green pick”, or fresh grass! Locally obtained Leptospermum polygalifolium (Tea-tree) seed was scattered. In the swamp Blackberry and Japanese Honesysuckle were treated; good control of these pests now. A large amount of Privet and also Turkey Rhubarb seed was removed from the east regeneration site. This entry was posted in General on 15 March, 2020. Edit
The Bushcare Group was pleased to welcome Brad Moore, BMCC Aboriginal Community Development Officer, and Matt, Connecting to Country Project Officer, to the bushcare site and adjoining areas, including South Lawson Park, to examine and record various items of First Nations’ heritage. Thanks to Karen, our BMCC Bushcare Officer, for arranging this event. This entry was posted in General on 29 February, 2020. Edit
We now have a nice damp site with lots of healthy local flora regenerating…and a few weeds! Work continued in the Waratah Street regeneration area, where lots of large and medium size Privets were removed ( (all regrowth now highly controlled) and follow-up work on the Blackberry in the swamp was undertaken; excellent control of the Blackberry now. Our D of E student is back, to undertake his Silver Award, and regaled us with an account of his four day kayaking trip down the Murray River, from Echuca to Swan Hill.
A keen bunch of restorationists got to work on the Privet and weedy grasses in the western regeneration area, with about 10 square metres of Privet remaining to be treated there. The Blackberry and Privet in the swamp are now highly controlled. Seedlings, of course, will re-emerge. Work was accompanied by a nice drop of rain!
The results of StreamWatch testing done today (19/01/20) indicate that we must be doing beautiful bushcare at Lawson because after that long dry period and then heavy rain the phosphorous (fertilisers, scats) and turbidity readings were nice and low, so the well cared for bush is absorbing a lot of the runoff impacts. We are sending good clean water to the fire ravaged areas. Masses of frogs calling in Lawson Creek. This entry was posted in General on 19 January, 2020. Edit
The Bushcare Group acknowledges the disastrous bushfires that have occurred in the Blue Mountains and Australia since spring 2019, and their devastating human, community and ecological impacts. The Erskine Creek catchment, into which Lawson Creek flows, is part of Blue Mountains National Park and the World Heritage Area, and has been badly affected. This is an excerpt from a Blue Conservation Society members’ e-brief:
78% of the GBMWHA Burned
As of Monday 13 January, 78% of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA) has been burnt, and an estimated 140 million native animals have been impacted.
This has been calculated by Peter Smith using the MapInfo program and Fires Near Me to obtain mapping of burnt areas.
These are preliminary estimates and will be updated when the final fire maps are available from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment after the fire season.
The burnt area of each of the eight reserves of the GBMWHA has been calculated.
Peter has also calculated the number of animals impacted by multiplying likely densities of animals* in unburnt habitat by the number of hectares burnt.
The densities are very rough estimates, but are the best available for NSW.
In any case, it is clear that huge numbers of animals have been impacted and most of them have died as a result of the drought, the fires and the shortage of food, water and shelter after the fires.
The unprecedented scale of the fires, leaving few unburnt refuges from which to recolonise, makes the recovery of the fauna highly problematic.
Source: Blue Mountains Conservation Society 15/01/2020