Author Archives: Peter

April 2023

Today, 16 April, South Lawson Park Bushcare Group met for the first time on its new Lawson Parklands site, the riparian zone of Lawson Creek. The riparian zone has been fenced and borders the exisiting bushland that stretches along Lawson Creek. The objective is to revegetate the riparian zone, using a range of methods: natural regeneration (germination of naturally distributed indigenous plant seed); assisted natural regeneration (distributing by hand the seed of indigenous plants); planting of indigenous plants. Some natural regeneration is already occurring within the riparian zone, so that is very pleasing.

The group worked in the riparian zone today, along the edge of and also in Lawson swamp, mainly targeting Japanese Honeysuckle and Privet. The indigenous plants planted by the bushcare group over ten years ago are doing quite well.

We were then pleased to meet with Gundungurra community member, David King, and partner Belle, to discuss revegetation and other Parklands management issues. Maintaining this important partnership with the Gundungurra community and respecting their deep interests in the Parklands site and land, a part of their homelands and subject to an ILUA, will always be a high priority for the bushcare group.

The new South Lawson Parklands community recreation and nature hub is proving to be a great success. There were many parents, children on bikes, mums and dads with prams and strollers, joggers and walkers all out enjoying the new walking path. Dog owners and their pooches were having a great time in the new fenced dog off-leash area. A very pleasant scene.

Lawson Parklands riparian zone at left April 2023 Photo: P Ardill
Lawson Parklands, riparian zone at left April 2023 Photo: P Ardill

As reported in the March 2023 news on this website, Belle Butler and Hamish Dunlop, Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative, Katoomba, BMCC, are preparing an article on the ecological restoration work of the bushcare group in the upper catchment of Lawson Creek, and interviewed group members. Their report has now been published, and makes for good reading. See Archives: Mid-Mountains News: South Lawson Park Bushcare Group April 2023.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality in Lawson Creek on the Parklands (downstream of Lawson swamp and adjacent to riparian zone) was very good: oxygen levels (satisfactory), phosphorous (low), pH (balanced), turbidity (low) and freshness (high).

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March 2023

March was a busy month!

On March 08/03/23 we enjoyed a visit from Belle Butler and Hamish Dunlop, Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative, Katoomba, BMCC. They had heard of our holistic ecological restoration, bushcare and streamwatch approach to the restoration of the upper catchment of Lawson Creek, and were keen to come along and conduct some interviews, take some film footage and get an idea of the project. Outcomes will include visual and written media, so we look forward to seeing the finished products.

Belle and Hamish Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative March 2023 Photo: P Ardill
Belle and Hamish Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative Lawson Creek March 2023 Photo: P Ardill

On March 15/03/23 Bushcare Group members joined BMCC natural area manager and Bushcare officers for a tour of the recently completed South Lawson Parklands project (Stage One). Bushcare Group engagement with the parklands, particularly the riparian buffer zone, was discussed.

BMCC natural area manager, Bushcare officers and Bushcare Group members inspect Lawson Parklands, riparian buffer zone, Lawson Creek eroded area  March 18 2023 Photo: H Coltman
BMCC natural area manager, Bushcare officers and Bushcare Group members inspect Lawson Parklands, riparian buffer zone and Lawson Creek eroded area March 18 2023 Photo: H Coltman

At the regular Sunday session Bushcare Group members enjoyed a session of information exchange and interviews with Belle Butler, Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiative. Motivation, achievements, climate change, work techniques, community engagement, frustrations and satisfactions were on the agenda!

Bushcare Group meeting with Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiaitve March 2023 Photo: P Ardill
Bushcare Group meeting with Blue Mountains Planetary Health Initiaitve March 2023 Photo: P Ardill

Work continued in ecological restoration area #2 (swamp/wetland) and area #4. In particular, 8 x Hakea salicifolia and Leptospermum polygalifolium were planted along a Lawson creek tributary (area #4).

Streamwatch Convenor reports that water quality was most satisfactory: oxygen levels; phosphorous; chemical balance; freshness of water; turbidity.

February 2023

Work continued in sections #1, #2 and #4 of the ecological restoration area. In section #1 new plantings were weeded. Overall, these plants are doing well. The #1 site is displaying good resilience, with only weedy grasses and sedges making an appearance. Natural regeneration of Hakea sp. and Leptospermum sp. along the edges of the good bush is occurring.

In #2 J. microcephalus seeds were removed. A grove of Privet along the embankment was treated with herbicide.

In section #4 a medium sized stand of Privet was treated with herbicide. Juvenile seedlings were removed. The new plantings (H. salicifolia) along the stream are doing well.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was good.

January 2023

A warm sunny Sunday saw the bushcare group working in sections #2 and #4 of the ecological restoration site, upper Lawson Creek catchment.

In section #2, the swamp /wetland, the seed of weed Juncus microcephalus was removed. The juncus does stabilise the sands of the wetland, removing the threat of a major sedimentation event in Lawson Creek. The juncus will be removed in stages, throughout the coming winter.

Planting of 6 x Hakea salicifolia along a stream tributary was undertaken. This staged program of riparian planting will eventually result in replacement of dense, light blocking Privet infestations with more appropriate indigenous vegetation that will provide filtered light for other vegetation such as ferns, keep water temperatures reasonable and stabilise stream banks.

Recovering degraded area by planting Hakea salicifolia regeneration area # 4 Lawson stream tributary Photo: P Ardill 2023
Recovering degraded area by planting Hakea salicifolia regeneration area # 4 Lawson stream tributary Photo: P Ardill 2023

Very large Privet (#4) along a stream tributary was chiselled and treated with herbicide, as preparation for future planting. Ginger Lily was removed from section #4, as well as Privet seedlings.

Herbicide treatment of weed Ginger Lily (Hedychium gardnerianum) ecological restoration area #4 Photo: P Ardill 2023
Herbicide treatment of weed Ginger Lily (Hedychium gardnerianum) ecological restoration area #4 Photo: P Ardill 2023

December 2022

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

Work continued in the swamp/wetland (restoration area #2), the eastern woodland (#4) and on unformed Waratah Street (#3). Blackberry, J. Honeysuckle, Privet (mature and small) and J. microcephalus (seed removal) were treated.

The various ferns in the Lawson Creek tributary are responding well to removal of mature Privet and better access to sunlight.

Healthy canopy of indigenous vegetation following removal of Privet ecological restoration area #4 Photo: P Ardill
Healthy canopy of indigenous vegetation following removal of Privet ecological restoration area #4 Photo: P Ardill

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was satisfactory: oxygen levels, chemicial balance, salt levels and turbidity.

November 2022

Work continued in restoration areas #3 and #4. Japanese Honeysuckle, Privet and Blackberry (unformed Waratah Street) were treated. This work is very valuable, as these areas constitute the headwaters and top of catchment of Lawson Creek. If the upper catchment area can be kept reasonably weed free, then the whole creek and catchment will benefit considerably.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was very good in Lawson Creek tributary.

October 2022

A fine, sunny day, and a varied working session was conducted on the east Waratah Street site #4. Bushcare Officer cut and treated with herbicide Privet, Pittosporum (as a weed; also naturally occurring in the Blue Mountains) and an unknown large ornamental on the bushland edge of unformed Waratah Street. Other members of the group tackled Privet seedlings, Turkey Rhubarb and Japanese Honeysuckle (area #4). In area #3, giant Japanese Honeysuckle was treated. Tasmannia insipida was recovered from J. Honeysuckle and Blackberry. The Rough Tree Ferns and King Fern (Todea Barbara) recovered from dense Privet infestations are responding well to sunnier conditions and adding new growth.

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality of Lawson Creek was good. Numerous Common Eastern Froglets were present.

After: Lawson Creek tributary east Waratah Street ecological restoration area October 2022 Photo: P Ardill
Rough Tree Ferns recovering Lawson Creek tributary east Waratah Street ecological restoration area #3 October 2022 Photo: P Ardill

September 2022

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

A very active session this month, held in the east Waratah section and swamp of the ecological restoration area. Planting was the main activity. A mix of 20 Leptospermum polygalifolium, juniperinum and grandifolium, Callicoma serratifolia and Hakea dactyloides were planted in the riparian strip of a Lawson Creek tributary (recently cleared of Privet), the swamp and in the Eucalyptus woodland to the east. There was little to no natural regeneration capacity in the selected planting areas.

Planting session east Waratah Street ecological restoration area Photo: P Ardill 2022
Planting session east Waratah Street ecological restoration area Photo: P Ardill 2022

Japanese Honeysuckle in the central section of the ecological restoration site was treated, and is gradually being eliminated from this area. Blackberry and Turkey Rhubarb skulking in the unformed section of Waratah Street were routed.

August 2022

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

Lots to do at South Lawson Park. At the August work session more check dams were created in the swamp, utilising tree logs from power company trimmings. A wet spring is forecast, and the check-dams help to control sediment flows. A thick stand of Privet in the eastern ecological restoration site was treated. Privet seedlings were removed. Blackberry in unformed Waratah Street was treated.

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

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality was good. BMCC Aquatic Systems Officer reports that the health of Lawson Creek, in 2022, was rated as Fair. This means that macroinvertebrate life was recorded at the testing site, but diversity of species was limited.

July 2022

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

South Lawson Park Bushcare Photo: K Hising BMCC
South Lawson Park Bushcare Photo: K Hising BMCC

A busy work session at South Lawson Park bushcare! Work continued on the Waratah St east section of the ecological restoration project. Consolidation of the good bush continued, with Privet seedlings and other riff-raff being removed.

Further work was done on lopping mature Privets. This work is paying benefits, as indigenous plants are being uncovered and provided with better growing conditions, particularly sunnier conditions.

The check-dams set up in the swamp have successfully managed sediments, following the heavy rains (400mm) of early July.

Cyathea australis (Rough Tree Fern) rescued from Privet July 2022 Photo: K Hising BMCC
Cyathea australis (Rough Tree Fern) rescued from Privet July 2022 Photo: K Hising BMCC

Streamwatch convenor reports that water quality in Lawson Creek tributary is good.