Hazelbrook Walk and Talk Sunday June 26 1:30-4:30pm Burgess Falls (free)
Come and learn about the bushland in Hazelbrook. This series of walk and talks will have a small amount of weeding with a walk and guided talk with Nathan the Bushcare Officer. This weekend find out about the local area and history then walk to beautiful Burgess Falls.
Hising and the members of the Blackheath Centenary Reserve Bushcare Group
Reserve is a small area of bushland of just over two hectares, which lies between
Brentwood Avenue and Cleopatra Street, Blackheath. The site was originally retained by the
Department of Education. However, in
1985, at the close of celebrations for the Blackheath Village and School
Centenary, the Organising Committee had suggested this site as a natural
bushland reserve. Acting through the
Mayor, Mr Peter Quirk, the Committee applied to the State Government for the
site to be set aside for this purpose.
This was achieved in May 1987, the Reserve thus being under Council
Although totally surrounded
by houses and streets and only a small area, the Reserve contains a good
biodiversity of native plants indicative of ridgetop vegetation. Much of this
type of vegetation has been removed over time for housing development, so it is
an important remnant in the area.
Thanks to Joyce Brister and
others, a Bushcare Group was established in 1987, making it the oldest group
operating in the Blue Mountains.
Historically, the site had
been affected by serious infestations of Gorse and Broom, a number of mature
Pines and a range of other weeds, as well as dumping, encroachment and illegal
With grant funding, more than twenty large Pine trees were
felled, which greatly improved the understorey biodiversity. In 2011, with assistance from local RFS Brigades,
Council conducted a hazard reduction burn in one part of the site for fire
mitigation purposes. However, the
planned burn also provided the opportunity to reduce the Gorse and Broom
seedbank in the soil (stimulating their growth, allowing many seedlings to die
out naturally and others to be handweeded in the following years). Being an “island” site, where biodiversity
recruitment is limited, the burn also stimulated the growth of a range of
native plant species.
Many of the other problems have now been
controlled and although the Reserve continues to require ongoing maintenance
weeding and monitoring, we have been very pleased with the wonderful
regeneration that has occurred.
Although landlocked between
housing, the Reserve is also an important area of habitat for some local native
wildlife, particularly birds. Local
residents often enjoy walking through the Reserve too! And despite its small size, the site always
surprises us with some beautiful plant species.
Whilst there are a number of spectacular flowering Waratahs in the
Reserve, of particular interest are the Orchids. We are fortunate to have some dedicated
Bushcare Group members, who often monitor the Reserve and report and document
their amazing finds. Some photos are
noted below, but there are more in the Group’s webpage: https://centenaryreserve.bushcarebluemountains.org.au/photos/ and in the blog.
Blackheath Centenary Reserve
proves that despite being small in size and surrounded by development, with
lots of edges and some tracks, it is still important habitat for local native
wildlife and plants.
The following article from
“The Conversation” is an interesting read in that regard.
The Draft Weed Management Strategic Plan 2019 outlines Councils management response to the multiple threats of weeds within our local government area (LGA), within the context of current Federal, State and regional weed policy and recent legislative changes.
The Draft Weed
Management Strategic Plan 2019 replaces the BMCC Weed Strategy 2010.
It will be exhibited on Have Your Say and in Council offices and libraries.
To download the Draft Weed Management Strategic Plan 2019 click the link below.
Glenbrook Lagoon has been awarded a $5000 grant to construct an artificial floating turtle habitat in Glenbrook Lagoon, as part of a pilot program in the area. Such structures aim to reduce turtle loss by providing safe habitat for laying eggs, away from the shoreline and predators.
Bushcare volunteers are invitied to come along and join us construct the floating Turtle Habitat and learn how these systems operate on 14th May, 2019 at Glenbrook Lagoon. To book, click on the link below.
The UWS is asking Sydneysiders to help with their research on Turtles, by logging on to TurtleSAT to document any sightings. This project is gathering data on where the turtles are, and what they require to thrive, to help manage populations into the future. There is an app you can add to your phone that is easy to use.
For more information on the Turtle Habitat project, contact Geoffrey Smith, Program Leader for Healthy Waterways, on 4780 5751 or email@example.com
A Bio-filtration system is as the name suggests is a living filter, employing microbes and wetland plants, gravel and sands, to filter the stormwater and urban runoff. Pollutants, increased nutrients, sediments and faecal coliforms in the stormwater negatively impact the health of the natural creek system, contributing to weed growth and exacerbate existing problems.
The filter consists of three layers underneath; gravel, sand and a carbon source with piping underneath to let the filtered water flow out. The native plants at the surface also play a role absorbing contaminants and nutrients and slowing the water flows down for absorption.
Slowing the water down ensures it can soak into the filters and surrounding soil, this recharging of groundwater mimics the natural hydrology and moderates the rapid flow of stormwater from the hard, impervious surfaces above. This is an important balance to ensure it captures as much pollutants as possible.
The water will flow out of this pipe quickly so to slow it down rocks are concreted onto the ramp to diffuse water. The sediment basin does this too, reducing velocity and catching sediment that precipitate as a result of the slack water. It is important to catch this sediment where it can be cleaned out, before it continues downstream.
From the ramp there is a pool made from large boulders followed by a ramp of rocks to ensure there is oxygen added to the water and to slow the flow down. This picture shows the gradient is only very slight to slow the water down.
Rock sills are built to stabilise the gradient, further reducing velocity and maximising water penetration.
Riffle zones made from smaller rocks help to oxygenate the water by increasing its exposure to the air, aiding oxygen absorption.
Most endemic species prefer low nutrients, whilst invasive weedy species enjoy the high nutrient urban runoff, so it is important to remove the excess nutrients from the stormwater before it enters the natural environment.
Blechnum ferns were used on the edges as the root systems of these naturally occurring ferns have excellent holding capacity and appear in the creek line systems sounding this site.
The steps involved for this project to happen include:
the woody weeds were removed by contractors
a machine to shape the bed and for large rock placement
geotextile fabric and gravel, sand and piping added then jute mat and coir logs added below the structure
rocks sills built and planting in and around structure
Each site is different, with different constraints as well as possibilities. Site assessment and careful design are important when planning a similar project. The fundamentals are pretty standard from site to site, and can be applied to most situations.
We are calling for participants to be part of the national citizen science project looking at antibiotic resistance in wildlife Saturday 13th April.
Urban Wildlife: possums, citizen science and
Learn about the ecology of urban possums and how you can be part of a national study of brushtail possums. Participants will receive a collection kit so they can participate in the study.
workshop is presented by biologists from Macquarie University the University of
Sydney. Associate Professor Michelle Power and Koa Webster study antibiotic
resistance in Australian wildlife and coordinate a national citizen science
project called Scoop a Poop, and Associate Professor Clare McArthur is an
expert on urban possums. Together they will present an evening of fascinating
possum (and poop!) facts, and explain how you can get involved in the Scoop a
activities include learning how to identify poop from different wildlife
species, introduction to the Scoop a Poop app, and practicing using the Scoop a
Poop collection kit.
The workshop is suitable for ages 10+. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian
To BOOK click on the link below or contact Alison for more information on 4780 5320 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an interesting article about dead trees, which included a citizen science project called the Dead Tree Detective.
The program is mapping the dead trees around the country particularly drought affected trees. There are some great resources on how to measure a dead tree. See the links below for the project page and the ABC article.