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.
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.
Today’s work session was cancelled as the site was too smoky and working there constituted a potential adverse impact on our 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/
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.
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.