Tag Archives: conservation

Leura Cascades Combined Catchment Event – Vale Street

Creekline view

Tributary of Leura Falls Creek photo by Karen Hising

Join all the Groups in the Leura Falls Creek Catchment for a morning at the Vale Street Bushcare site in the upper part of the catchment, a critical place in the stormwater management system. There will be a range of options – weeding (both challenging and easy work along the creek) planting, mulching.  An opportunity to inspect and support the recent contract work in that area. There will also be updates about our work in the Catchment. Includes morning tea.

WE’RE CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF BLUE MOUNTAINS SWAMPCARE!

North Hazelbrook Swamp July 2009 photo Lyndal Sullivan

Swampcare is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year!  From the first on ground workday at Kittyhawke Swamp in North Wentworth Falls in March 2007 Swampcare has grown into an annual program of events in the Blue Mountains run by Council’s Bushcare. Swampcare provides opportunities for volunteers to learn about swamps and the special requirements of undertaking bush regeneration in these sensitive places as well as making hands on contributions to protecting them.

Many workshops have been held over the years to add to the knowledge of volunteers covering swamp ecology, vegetation, threatened species and  techniques to rehydrate swamps. A Swamp Symposium will be held on Wednesday 21st June  to celebrate and continue developing community knowledge, thanks to people such as Dr  Ian Baird, who has very generously given his time and shared his knowledge by regularly presenting workshops.

Over the 10 years more than 2000 volunteer hours have been contributed in on site works.  Many thanks must also go to Hominy Bakery in Katoomba who have been donating delicious lunches and morning teas for volunteers at every event since 2007. A much appreciated incentive to keep coming back!

March 2007 Kittyhawke volunteers at the first Swampcare event learning the ropes. Photo by Michael Hensen

Sites currently worked by volunteers in the Swampcare events program are:

  • Rocklea St Swamp, North Hazelbrook;
  • West Kitty Hawke Swamp, Wentworth Falls;
  • Clydebank Swamp North Leura;
  • Valley View Swamp, Blackheath.

In addition to the Swampcare events program, there are 15 other Bushcare or Landcare groups which also work in swamps and/or their buffers at some stage during each year.

There are 2253 hectares of swamp mapped in the Blue Mountains with 929 of those outside the National Park.  Swamps within the urban area are recognised as being the most vulnerable to degradation,  a concern which is being addressed by this program.

According to recent recorded history, scientific and management interest began in swamps in 1974 with the PhD by WN Holland entitled ‘Origin and Development of Hanging Valleys in the Blue Mountains, NSW’; which showed the significance of the geomorphology on formation and maintenance of hanging swamps.

In 1988, ecologists DA Keith & D H Benson described and mapped ‘Blue Mountains Sedge Swamps’ and other upland swamps, as part of a larger study. In 1991 the Blue Mountains City Council recognised swamps as an ‘environmentally sensitive vegetation community’ in  Local Environment Plan 1991 (LEP 91).

After witnessing a number of destructive developments occurring within and around swamps, in 1999 community members, under the banner of the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, began working to gain legal protection for swamps.

In September 2007, after 8 years of hard work, Blue Mountains Swamps were listed as a Vulnerable Ecological Community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act (TSC Act). In order to achieve this, 3 other significant achievements were made:

  • The listing of Temperate Highland Peat Swamps on Sandstone as an Endangered Ecological Community under the Commonwealth EPBC Act in 2005 (which included Blue Mountains Swamps), and
  • An amendment to the NSW TSC Act to make provision for Vulnerable Ecological Communities (2002),
  • An increase in community awareness and support for swamps.

For a more detailed history and swamp images see http://bluemountains.org.au/swamps.shtml

Since the listing in 2005, Blue Mountains City Council has obtained over a million dollars in grants from state and federal agencies to protect the swamps. BMCC’s ongoing Save our Swamps program is currently partnered with Central Tablelands Local Land Services to deliver a 10 year $750,000 “Swamped by Threats” grant. This aims to continue protecting the swamps of the Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau with a focus on swamps that are known habitat for the endangered Blue Mountains Water Skink and the Giant Dragonfly.

Swampcare is a vital component of the concerted effort by BMCC and the Blue Mountains community to protect its valuable swamp systems. Our swamps continue to need all this community support  – hands on swamp restoration work, watching  and reporting illegal activity, writing submissions on potentially damaging developments, and campaigning to strengthen legal protections and ‘buy back’ swamps.

New members are always welcome to join the Swampcare program, just contact the Bushcare office on 4780 5623!

April 2007: Hard at it in Kittyhawke Swamp, Wentworth Falls. Photo by Michael Hensen

Jamison Creek Catchment Care Day

Queens Cascades, Jamison Creek viewed from the top of Wentworth Falls

Join with all the Bushcare Groups, Council staff and interested residents who are working to look after the Jamison Creek catchment, improve the water quality the creek which flows over Wentworth Falls and is the habitat the Threatened plant species, Pherosphaera fitzgeraldii.

¨ Work together in this beautiful creek removing Montbretia and a range of other woody weeds

¨ Help protect the catchment from invasive weeds while enjoying good company

¨ Morning tea and lunch all provided

¨ Tools and Training provided

¨ Talks on our Healthy Waterways project and the Jamison Creek catchment health by Geoffrey Smith and Eric Mahony

Registration is essential. Please RSVP to Monica Nugent mnugent@bmcc.nsw.gov.au or phone 4780 5528 before Monday 6 March 2017 for more information about where to meet and what to expect.

 

Pherosphaera Katoomba Falls photo courtesy Ian Brown

 

Bringing Back the Birds in Blackheath

A misty and cold Saturday morning was brightened and warmed by local families at Popes Glen in Blackheath recently. It was an informal idea amongst friends about getting together to spend some time, while getting their kids together and giving them something great to do. Then everyone has a nice bit of morning tea and a chat while the kids run off some more of that energy!

Little people making a Big difference!

Little people making a Big difference!

And what better thing to do in the outdoors than pop down and meet a local Bushcare group?

Well, that is just what a group of friends in Blackheath did. A wonderful little army of youngsters and their equally wonderful families came down to help the Popes Glen volunteers plant out their third Small Bird Habitats.

These habitats are small, strategically placed areas which are then densely re-vegetated with a mixture of native shrubs and ground cover plants. As they grow and develop these plants will form very dense thickets, perfect for providing shelter, protection and food for many species of small native birds which are known to live in Popes Glen.

Surveys have shown us that these small birds are using several large piles of timber debris left on the site after the treatment and felling of several large Willow trees. This fantastic fact demonstrates the ability of a recovering Bushcare site to provide new habitat and resources for native creatures, where in the past those creatures have only seen their habitat diminish.

With the news that the small birds are moving in to Popes Glen for the new habitat came a potential problem. While these debris piles provide the perfect opportunity for small birds to move in, they are not going to last forever. The wood is steadily breaking down into humus. Not so good for birds, but perfect for plants.

And there was the answer to the problem. The Popes Glen volunteers decided to take advantage of the rich soil by planting shrubs which will grow to replace the structure of the piles as they break down. Then the birds which are depending on their pile of logs for their home can watch their new home grow around them, before their old houses fall down!

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What a nice way to spend a misty Spring morning!

By morning tea time, Popes Glen had one hundred and forty new plants. They were all guarded, watered and ready to grow into a palace for small birds! There was a wonderful atmosphere of smiling and fun. Everybody had a contribution no matter how big or small! What a wonderful day at Bushcare!

Where would we be without BUBBLES!

Where would we be without BUBBLES!

 

Upper Kedumba Bushcare Pollinator Morning

Upcoming Events at Upper Kedumba

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Australian Pollinator Week Event

Come and join the Upper Kedumba Bushcare Group for a fun morning on Saturday 3 December 2016 between 8.30 and 12.30pm, and help enhance the Upper Kedumba area as a native bee friendly environment.

Our aim is to develop a holiday village for our little bee friends.

BeehousesIn this exciting new adventure for our group, we will bee building four different types of bee hotels. Classics such as Honeymoon Hotel, Swarm Inside, Beehome Soon and Beehive Yourself.

All lifestyle suites catered for the discerning pollinator.

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As different species of native bees prefer different styles of accommodation, there will bee other types installed, such as high rise bee-bamboo, bee-nests and bee-blocks.

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There will also be some landscaping, planting multi-coloured flowering natives, so they never have to go without some bloomin’ blossoms.

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All materials will be provided, so we encourage volunteers to help out on the day, or just come along to see the diverse collection of structures being created and installed.

After that, sit back, relax and join us for a cuppa and cake, feeling you have been a good property developer with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and a buzzy feeling outside and knowing you have helped set in train the establishment of a bee-utiful environment.

RSVP by 1/12/16     Jane Anderson 4780 5623    jlanderson@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

UNSW Chinese Students Association lends a helping hand to Katoomba Falls

UNSW Chinese Students Association helping out with planting at Katoomba Falls

UNSW Chinese Students Association helping out with planting at Katoomba Falls

Our fabulous Blue Mountains put on a text-book Winter’s day for a small group of students from the University of New South Wales on July 14 – bright sunshine and crisp (cold) air – perfect for planting ferns along the newly refurbished walking track at Katoomba Falls.

The group may have been small but the amount they got done was not! Working with contractors engaged by Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) who prepared the holes ready for planting, 120 Blechnum nudum, Gahnia sieberiana and Lomandra longifolia were very quickly in the ground, watered and protected from frost and wind with tree fern fronds.

The students were so enthusiastic and energetic that once the plants were in, we had plenty of time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and some delicious, locally produced biscuits before walking to the lookout, guided by Monica from the Bushcare Team.

Hopefully this was just the first of many more days such as this one, which not only showcased one of our local icons but also the wonderful work that BMCC is doing to protect the World Heritage on our doorstep

Chinese students Katoomba Falls

Vincent shows us how its done

Chinese students at Katoomba Falls

Edol, Mindy, and Vincent wasted no time getting in amongst it

Birriban – Banksia Park Katoomba High special work session

Work with Banksia Park to lend a helping hand to their near-neighbours, Birriban Katoomba High School Landcare Group. Enjoy some good tucker, hear about Birriban plans, help deal with some woody weeds the students can’t manage!

Contact Monica Nugent 4780 5528 or mnugent@bmcc.nsw.gov.au for more information and to RSVP