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.
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.
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.
If you have any enquiries about Bushcare or StreamWatch then go to the About Us and StreamWatch pages on this website for contact details.
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.
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.
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.