Author Archives: Peter

June 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group. For contact and session details, please view About

A lovely sunny, winter’s day in Lawson! The bushcare group got to work on the Waratah Street east site. Further expanses of Privet seedlings were removed; as a result, Microlaena sp. grass, or Weeping Meadow grass, as it is also termed, is naturally regenerating strongly. Some heavy duty weed busting was done by Bushcare Officer Karen on stands of Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle and Blackberry, revealing a nice clump of Blechnum nudum ferns. A tributary to Lawson Creek was also treated and several Rough Tree Ferns (Cyathea australis) were rescued from darkness and smothering Japanese Honeysuckle!

East Waratah Street ecological restoration area further weed management revealing Blechnum nudum ferns (centre rear) Photo: P Ardill June 2022
Waratah Street east ecological restoration area further weed management revealing Blechnum nudum ferns (centre rear) Photo: P Ardill June 2022
Privet out, Weeping Meadow grass in! Waratah St east ecological restoration area Photo: P Ardill June 2022
Privet out, Weeping Meadow grass in! Waratah St east ecological restoration area Photo: P Ardill June 2022

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality in Lawson Creek tributary adjacent to Waratah Street east site was good: oxygen levels; phosphorous levels; turbidity; saltiness; pH levels.

May 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group. For contact and session details, please view About

Lambertia formosa; nineteenth century Source: Marrianne Collinson Campbell National Library Australia
Lambertia formosa; nineteenth century Source: Marrianne Collinson Campbell National Library Australia

A busy morning at the bushcare site! A very damp bushcare site: lots of surface iron oxide was present, and small rivulets were flowing. We worked on the western Waratah Street site. A lot of time went in to bagging up plantings and scattering a dense cover of natural debris over them, in an effort to deter the resident Wallabia bicolor from munching on the plantings. Some of the plants are doing quite well, but others have been somewhat trimmed. More check-dams were added to the swamp; aquatic fauna, in the form of crayfish, have taken up residence. Honeysuckle was treated in the privet forest. Weedy grasses along the track were managed. Assistance was lent to young BMX folk who needed some tool help with their broken down bike!

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was very good: oxygen levels, phosphates, chemical balance, salt levels and turbidity.

April 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group. For contact and session details, please view About

On Sunday 17/04/2022 we continued our weeding work along the eastern Waratah Street section of the ecological restoration site. Numerous Privet seedlings and also mature plants were treated. The constant regrowth of Privet on this site, over many, many years, has been quite amazing, but we do keep on top of it. Fortunately, there is plenty of good bush around to keep us inspired. Natural regeneration of bush along some fringes is good, and planted ferns and Eucalyptus species are going well. Snake Vine Stephania japonica was observed.

Along the wall of weeds central section of Waratah Street large quantities of Japanese Honeysuckle, some with stem thicknesses of 6-7 cms, and 10 metres plus of height, were treated. The honeysuckle is now well controlled. As the swamp steadily settles into a more stable bush condition, more work can be done on this wall of weeds section.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality in the Lawson Creek tributary flowing through the swamp was good. The check dams there are creating pools and riffles, and we have some welcome visitors moving in!

March 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group!

The March working session was conducted in the East Waratah Street patch, and the target was Privet. Big Privet, medium Privet and small Privet, we got a heap of Privet! There is some very nice bush coming on in this section now: Gahnia, Lomandra, Hakea, Eucalypts, Blechnum ferns and Geranium. Our swamp withstood the heavy rains quite well, and there have been no serious sediment flows. The new check-dams controlled the sands quite well.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was good.

Bushcare Officer makes easy work of a wall of Privet! March 2022 Photo: P Ardill
Bushcare Officer makes easy work of a wall of Privet! March 2022 Photo: P Ardill

February 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group. For contact and session details, please view About

A busy work session was held on Sunday 20 February. Additional plants, Leptospermum polygalifolium (4), were planted in the west ecological restoration area. Unfortunately, our local swamp wallaby, a considerable gourmet, has taken quite a liking to our recent plantings, particularly the L. juniperinum; nice to have our work appreciated. Many Privet seedlings and a large area of weedy grasses received the appropriate treatment. In the swamp, several check-dams were installed to slow sediment drift and encourage pool development.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality in the upper tributary running off unformed Waratah Street is good: oxygen, phosphorous, chemical balance, freshness and turbidity.

January 2022

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group! For meeting and activity details, please go to About

Eastern Long-necked Turtle? Lawson swimming pool Dec 2021 Photo: H Coltman
Turtle; possibly Eastern Long-necked Turtle Lawson swimming pool Dec 2021 Photo: H Coltman

A very busy work session was held on Sunday 16 January 2022. Approximately 30 Leptospermum polygalifolium and juniperinum Tea-trees were planted in the western and swamp ecological restoration areas. Previous plantings appear to be doing well. Our Duke of Edinburgh student and bushcare members removed vast swathes of Privet and Japanese Honeysuckle. Other members concentrated on managing Privet seedlings and removing J. microcephalus seeds.

Bushcare Group members were very pleased to welcome Gundungurra community member David King and partner Bella to this work session. David was impressed with the restoration progress being made around the upper reaches of Lawson Creek. Woodlands and swamps are steadily re-emerging, as Privet, Blackberry and Japanese Honeysuckle are progressively removed from the site. As an original member of Garguree Swampcare, The Gully, Katoomba, David is aware of the demands of these projects, and the care and skill that have to be exercised. David also spent time with a significant cultural heritage item on the site.  

Gundungurra community member David King at South Lawson Park Bushcare site January 2022 Photo: P Ardill, with permission of David King.
Gundungurra community member David King at South Lawson Park Bushcare site January 2022 Photo: P Ardill, reproduced with permission of David King.

Streamwatch convenor reports that Lawson Creek water quality was good.

December 2021

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group.

For contact and meeting details, please go to the About page.

Eastern Yellow Robin November 2018 fauna survey Photo: R Pattingale 2018
Eastern Yellow Robin November 2018 fauna survey Photo: R Pattingale 2018

Following a washout in November, a small but very focused team got to work with some planting and weed removal work on 4 December 2021. Leptospermum juniperinum x 8 were added to the west Waratah Street site. Hakea salicifolia x 8 and L. juniperinum x 4 were planted in or adjacent to the swamp. Despite the interruption to the work schedule caused by Covid-19, the site is stable and the more serious weeds, such as Blackberry and Japanese Honeysuckle, are highly controlled. The sediments in the swamp are stabilised by Juncus planifolius (and Yorkshire Fog grass). The recovery of the upper stretch of Lawson Creek is well underway!

A busy month! At the regular session on the third Sunday 19/12/21, planting was the main activity undertaken. Approximately 30 plants went into the western ecological restoration area and the central swamp: Black Wattle Callicoma serratifolia, Tea-tree Leptospermum juniperinum and polygalifolium, Bottlebrush Callistemon citrinus. Good planting weather!

A total of approximately 55 plants found homes in the ecological restoration site during December. Some of these plants were purchased at Wildplant Nursery, Katoomba, using our 25 year Bushcare Award. Peter propagated and raised 30 of the plants, using local seed.

Streamwatch coordinator reports that water quality (phosphorous, acidity, freshness) in the ecological restoration area swamp was good when tested. Understandably, oxygen levels were a bit low. Eastern Water Skink is a regular feature now.

November 2021

Welcome to the website of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group!

Please go to our About page for meeting details and lots more information.

Kookaburra, dacelo novaeguineae, November 2018 flora survey Photo: R Pattingale 2018
Kookaburra, dacelo novaeguineae, November 2018 flora survey Photo: R Pattingale 2018

Blue Mountains and South Lawson Park Bushcare have now resumed. November was a little damp, and the session was cancelled.

However, the bushcare group members and officer did have a a very productive site tour with BMCC natural area managers on Wednesday 17/11/2021. Issues discussed included the Lawson Creek riparian zone and its development, management of the Lawson Creek swamp, seed collection, appropriate plant species selection for planting, remediation of degrading impacts on Lawson Creek and lots more.

Bushcare group members and BMCC Natural Area managers November 2021 Source: H Coltman
Bushcare group members and BMCC Natural Area managers November 2021 Source: H Coltman

Streamwatch Co-ordinator reports that water quality in Lawson Creek below Lawson Swamp is very good: oxygen high, phosphorous low, and low turbidity.

June 2021

BMCC Bushcare Officer reports that the June work session was a most productive one.

We continued thinning the wall of woody weeds along the edge of unformed Waratah Street.  We also moved the old branches on the ground near that area to provide more space for access to the woody weed area, easier groundlayer weeding and for future planting.  The branches were placed over previously-weeded areas nearby.

Leptospermum juniperinum would be an ideal species for the wet open area of our worksite. We could collect more seed later in the year for a range of species to build up our seedbank for our site for future plant supply.

The site is progressing well.

Thanks to everyone for your great work!

May 2021

Lots of work was done on the bushcare site in May.

In the western ecological restoration area, Waratah Street, the privet along the boundary of the site was again thinned out, in preparation for future planting. The ferns in this section are looking luscious. In the swamp, more Hakea salicifolia plants were planted along the higher margins of the wet area (cumulative total nine ). Creeping Buttercup and Yorkshire Fog grass were managed.

Streamwatch convenor: water quality was good. However, following the heavy rains of March, a large amount of sand has found its way into the stream. More work is needed on stabilising the upper catchment and the bare areas there. Still, the check dams in the upper catchment swamp held back a lot of sand, and certainly, the situation is not as bad as it was in 2010.

The Bellevue Park Butterfly Hilltopping project at Lawson has been operational for the last few months, with the Traditional Owners, BMCC, Lawson Public School students, Blue Mountains Homeschoolers, the bushcare group, regional butterfly enthusiasts and other members of the community all involved. The bushcare group had a special work session on 25/05/21, removing weeds from the site. Here we are! Finally made it to the top!

Bellevue Park Lawson Butterfly site May 2021 (A Bogic BMCC)
Butterfly site Bellevue Park Lawson May 2021 (A Bogic BMCC)