A new restoration area

During 2023, a bushland restoration area of approximately one hectare was established within Lawson Parklands, by BMCC natural area managers.

Located along the eastern perimeter of the Parklands, the restoration area is bounded on the east by Lawson Creek and woodland, and on the west by the Parklands access path.

The fenced restoration area was originally Eucalyptus piperita-Angophora costata woodland, with possible swamp areas. The woodland was destroyed in ca.1940, when the now defunct Lawson public golf course was established. The area has been regularly mown since ca.1940. Mowing ceased in 2022.

The objective is to restore Eucalyptus piperita-Angophora costata woodland to the restoration area. Remnants of the woodland can be seen along the eastern perimeter of the restoration area, and throughout the Parklands.

Impressive Eucalyptus piperita Lawson Creek Photo: P Ardill February 2024
Impressive Eucalyptus piperita Lawson Creek Photo: P Ardill February 2024

Implementing this exciting restoration project will take some years. However, the benefits will be substantial. The restoration area will fulfil three environmental purposes:

  • act as an additional woodland buffer zone for Lawson Creek,
  • serve as a carbon sink, and
  • provide additional habitat for indigenous animals.

The Bushcare Group will manage the restoration area, in conjunction with BMCC natural area managers.

Ecological restoration zone (initiated 2010) left and current regeneration area (initiated 2023) centre, in 2011 Photo: P Ardill November 2011  Assessing natural regeneration, regeneration area, Parklands, looking south Lawson Creek and 2010 ecolgical restoration regeneration zone left Photo: P Ardill September 2023
Before: signposted ecological restoration zone (established 2010), and mown strip, November 2011 After: at left maturing woodland restoration zone including numerous Eucalypt saplings, with adjoining former mown strip converted to new fenced restoration area Photos: P Ardill September 2023

Natural regeneration

Natural regeneration of indigenous vegetation will be fostered in the restoration area.

Natural regeneration may occur in two ways:

  • germination of naturally distributed indigenous plant seed stored in the soil (the soil seed-bank), and subsequent seedling growth to maturity;
  • recovery of previously mown but still viable indigenous plant rootstock.

On 17/09/2023, the Bushcare Group surveyed the restoration area, and assessed the extent of natural regeneration. Pleasingly, widespread natural regeneration is occurring. The species and locations have been mapped (see Archives/Parklands Restoration Area/Site Map).

Assessing natural regeneration, regeneration area, Parklands, looking south Lawson Creek lhs 17/09/2023 Photo: P Ardill
Assessing natural regeneration, regeneration area, Parklands, looking south. Lawson Creek left Photo: P Ardill September 2023

However, in some sections of the restoration area, natural regeneration is not occurring. This is because the soil no longer has a store of indigenous plant seed i.e. there is no seed-bank. In these sections, planting of indigenous vegetation will be required. Only locally indigenous plant species will be planted i.e. plant species that grow naturally in the area.

Planted Carex sp. stabilisng drain line Parklands regeneration area Photo: R Grieve September 2023
Planted Carex sp. stabilising drain line Parklands restoration area. Lawson swamp rear Photo: R Grieve September 2023

In addition to the mapping of natural regeneration, baseline monitoring of restoration area environmental features was conducted in February 2024 e.g. soil condition, invasive species, ecological functioning. The resultant data will inform the development of a revegetation management plan (see Archives/Parklands Restoration Area/Recovery Wheel).

Juncus microcephalus removal Parklands restoration area (north) Nov 2023 Photo: K Hising
Juncus microcephalus removal, Parklands restoration area (north) Photo: K Hising BMCC November 2023

Weed management

Unfortunately, and as commonly occurs, many weeds have become established within the restoration area. This has occurred because the seed of many weed species is distributed by wind, water, people and animals. Weeds thrive in bare, exposed soils.

For example, weed, fleabane, mostly likely Flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis), has become a problem. The seed of fleabane is distributed by wind. This weed reduces sunlight penetration and consumes moisture and nutrients, posing a threat to widespread natural regeneration of indigenous plants within the restoration area.

A weed control management strategy has been prepared. In early 2024, large quantities of fleabane, and its flowers and seed, were removed from a large section of the restoration area. A further weed eradication work-day is planned. Achieving long-term control of this weed may take some time.

Natural regeneration of Eucalyptus sp.nd Acacia sp. Parklands regeneration area Photo: P Ardill February 2024
Natural regeneration of Eucalyptus sp. and Acacia sp. Parklands restoration area Photo: P Ardill February 2024
Fleabane infestation (centre) Parklands restoration area Photo: P Ardill February 2024Fleabane removed Parklands restoration area Photo: P Ardill February 2024
Left: Fleabane infestation (centre) and inside fence, Parklands restoration area. Right: Fleabane removed Photos: P Ardill February 2024

A number of other common weeds have also appeared on the site: Broom, African lovegrass and other introduced grasses, Scotch thistle and Juncus microcephalus (sedge). They will be managed also.

As well as weeding programs, progressive establishment of indigneous plants across the restoration site will also assist with management of the weed issue.


(The South Lawson Park Bushcare Group website, including text and analysis, is managed by Peter Ardill. Australian Copyright Act 1968 applies. Text, media and all other contents of this site are subject to copyright. Many thanks to the members of South Lawson Park Bushcare Group, BMCC Bushcare Officer and Second Minutes Hours Productions for their contribution of images to this website)