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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.
Streamwatch Co-ordinator reports that water quality in Lawson Creek below Lawson Swamp is very good: oxygen high, phosphorous low, and low turbidity.
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.
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!
Bushcare Officer: work continued in the western section of the Waratah Street ecological restoration site. We worked along most of the track, removing juvenile Privet. Work was carried out in the corner of the unformed Waratah Street and the track, and that area was really cleaned up – it looks amazing! Grasses and a range of other weeds were removed along other sections of the track. Leptospermum sp. seed collected from an in situ plant was scattered.
In the swamp section, Juncus microcephalus was treated, and 4 x Hakea salicifolia were planted along the Waratah Street margin. Check dams constructed for the rainy summer held back tons of sand. Leptospermum juniperinum seed that was scattered a few months ago has germinated in the damp sands!
Streamwatch convenor: water quality in Lawson Creek was quite good. Oxygen levels were satisfactory, and phosphorous was absent. The water was fresh (no salts), and turbidity levels were low. All good for bugs!
Work continued in the west Waratah Street area of the ecological restoration site, where wonderful natural regeneration of the native grasses is occurring. Along the track, intruding privet was managed. A fresh section of the area adjacent to the track was treated for privet, Japanese honeysuckle and assorted weedy herbs. In the swamp, J microcephalus was dug out, and seed bearing privet was cut down.
Streamwatch convenor reports good water quality in Lawson Creek tributary in ecological restoration area. Oxygen levels satisfactory. pH, phosphorous, turbidity and salt levels okay. Euastacus sp. present.
A lovely sunny day! Work continued in the western regeneration area. Weedy grasses, Japanese Honeysuckle and Privet seedlings were given the flick. A magnificent stand of indigenous grasses is progressing well: Microlaena stipoides Weeping Meadow grass, and Entolasia stricta Wiry Panic or Right Angled grass.
In the swamp, our D of E student removed Arum Lily and Juncus micrcoephalus seeds, and constructed a check dam, to hold back and disperse the anticipated February floods! Flowering Privets were given the chop.
Seed collected at previous sessions is now being propagated at Wild Plant Rescue Nursery, Katoomba. The Bushcare Group is propagating Hakea dactyloides. A gift voucher for Wild Plant Rescue Nursery is also available. All of these plants will go in to the ER/regeneration area.
Streamwatch convenor reports good water quality in Lawson Creek.
We continued our work in the western regeneration area north of the BMX track. Our Duke of Edinburgh Award student continued carefully thinning the dense screen of vines and woody weed material along unformed Waratah Street. Others worked on the corner of unformed Waratah Street and the walking track, removing large and juvenile Privet – it looks so good in that area now. Work was also done along the walking track, removing seedlings/small Privet. (Fallen branches were also removed from the walking track during the September session, and brushmatting done). The ground-layer edge in the open area of the regeneration area was weeded, to encourage natural regeneration of indigenous flora.
Streamwatch convenor report:
Despite the heavy rain, the Streamwatch data for the month was good. Turbidity: excellent; phosphates: average; salt levels: low; oxygen: average; acidity: average. Must be some good bush around!
A busy morning in the western regeneration area! Our Duke of Edinburgh Award student undertook soil augering on four sites, to determine the quality of the soil and its moisture levels. The results were noted and photographed. This will help with determining the flora species to plant around the site. Certainly, two spots were very damp, with strong sub-surface water flows. Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle and weedy grasses were also managed during this session.
Bushcare Leader Sandy Benson also attended this session, to help celebrate twenty-five years of bushcare at South Lawson Park. She brought some good news: the Lawson Butterfly project is about to get under way, and we have been invited to participate.
So lovely to have our regular BMCC Bushcare Officer Karen back today, bringing all of her skills, knowledge and enthusiasm (and Nathan did a great job too). Also a full turnout of wonderful bushcarers, and we all got on with various restoration chores in the west regeneration area and central swamp. Privet, Salix cinerea and Yorkshire Fog grass were treated. In the swamp, Melaleuca armillaris, Blackberry, Salix cinerea, Japanese Honeysuckle and Privet (trimmed along the stream) received attention. The upper catchment of Lawson Creek is being transformed into a rich area of indigenous flora and fauna diversity.
Good water quality was recorded in the upper tributary of Lawson Creek, in ecological restoration area by Streamwatch convenor: oxygen, phosphates, acidity, and turbidity. See our StreamWatch page.