2016 – 2019

These archives of yearly bushcare activities and events commenced in mid 2016.

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.

 

Omalanthus populifoius (Bleeding Heart) left, Gleichenia dicarpa (Coral Fern) centre, and Leptospermum sp. (centre right) in the regeneration area, Mar 2016. Better than a Privet forest!

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! Photo: P.Ardill

 

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, October 2016

Weeding Privet seedlings in the good bush, Oct 2016 Photo: P.Ardill

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2017

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
Treating Montbretia and Creeping Buttercup at the detention basin, Jan 2017 (BMCC photo)

Removing Privet from the detention basin Jan 2017 (Photo: K Hising BMCC)
Removing Privet from the detention basin, Jan 2017 (BMCC photo)

(Text and photos on this website ©)

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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.

APRIL

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.

JUNE

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.

JULY

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.

OCTOBER

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. They are sensitive and their presence indicates good water quality. October 2017, Lawson Creek. Photo: P. Ardill.
Mayfly nymph (centre). October 2017, Lawson Creek. Photo: P. Ardill

DECEMBER

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.

Turkey Rhubarb, a tuberous pest. December 2017. Photo: J Rannard.
Turkey Rhubarb, a tuberous pest. December, 2017. Photo: J Rannard.

Passion fruit vine. It climbs and smothers. December 2017. Photo: J Rannard.
Passion fruit vine. It climbs and smothers. December 2017. Photo: J Rannard.

2018

December 2018

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.

Weed infestation (rhs) smothering natural bush diversity upper Lawson swamp Dec 2018 Photo: P Ardill
Weed infestation (rhs) smothering natural bush diversity upper Lawson swamp Dec 2018 Photo: P Ardill

November 2018

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.

October 2018

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.

Waratah Street natural regeneration, October 2018 Photo: P Ardill

Waratah Street natural regeneration, October, 2018 Photo: P Ardill This entry was posted in General on 22 October, 2018. Edit

September 2018

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

August 2018

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

July 2018

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

June 2018

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!

Grey Fantail "Rhipidura albiscapa" Regeneration area 2018
Grey Fantail regeneration area June 2018 Photo: M Saltis

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

May 2018

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

April 2018

Adjacent unformed Waratah Street. Native grasses regenerating in foreground and right, April 2018 (Photo: P Ardill)
Adjacent unformed Waratah Street. Native grasses regenerating in foreground and right, April 2018 (Photo: P Ardill)

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

March 2018

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.

Weeds in Lawson swamp: Deadly nightshade, MOntbretia, Arum lily, March 2018
Weeds in Lawson swamp: Arum lily, Deadly nightshade, Montbretia, March 2018 Photo: P Ardill

This entry was posted in General on 19 March, 2018. Edit

February 2018

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

January 2018

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.

Certificate of Appreciation December 2017 (Photo: P Ardill
Photo: P Ardill

Congratulations to all StreamWatch award winners:

Long Term Commitment (Schools) Recognising ongoing commitment over a number of years

GroupYears involved
Penrith High School28 years
Seven Hills High School25 years
The Illawarra Grammar School22 years
Ryde TAFE21 years
St Andrews College20 years
Blakehurst High School19 years

Long Term Continuity (Groups)Recognising many years of monitoring with minimal break

GroupYears involved
Glenorie Environment and Creative Arts Centre23 years
Eastbend Rural Communications19 years
Lawson StreamWatch Group16 years
Cowan Catchment StreamWatch Group16 years
Royal National Park NPWS15 years
Cattai Catchment Landcare and Annangrove Public School15 years

This entry was posted in General on 6 January, 2018. Edit

2018

What better way to start a new year than with a good piccy. Thanks to our bushcare officer for getting this great snap.

South Lawson Park Bushcare Group December 2017 (Photo: BMCC)
South Lawson Park Bushcare Group December 2017 (Photo: BMCC)

(Australian Copyright Act 1968 applies. Text and photos are subject to copyright)

This entry was posted in General on 2 January, 2018. Edit

2019

December 2019

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

Go to this link to view the actual air quality sensors and to access their data: http://bluemountains.sensors.net.au/ This entry was posted in General on 15 December, 2019. Edit

November 2019

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

September/October 2019

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!

More Privet cleared! Photo: P Ardill 20/10/19
More Privet cleared! Photo: P Ardill

This entry was posted in General on 20 October, 2019. Edit

August 2019

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

July 2019

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

June 2019

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

May 2019

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

March 2019

Some welcome rain led to cancellation of the site work session. However, over morning tea, planning discussions were held. This entry was posted in General on 21 March, 2019. Edit

February 2019

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

January 2019

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: