Category Archives: General

Farewell to Bushcare legend Bill Webster

Bill Popes Glen legend Bill Webster (left Stephanie Chew Bushcare Officer, second from left Sandy Benson Bushcare Team Leader,  second from right Bill Webster Popes Glen Volunteer, right Alan Lane Popes Glen Volunteer Coordinator)

Popes Glen Bushcare group had a special morning tea to say “Farewell, thank you and good luck” to Bill  Webster, longtime bushcare volunteer with 24 years of service to the Popes Glen Bushcare site. Bill’s commitment to making a difference has helped transform the site from a weed infested swamp to the rehabilitated site it is today. Of course, there will always be weeds but with perseverance it is clear to see from the success in Popes Glen that it is all worth it.

We also remembered Jan, Bill’s wife and a long-time and hard-working supporter until 2011, as famous for her morning teas as for her willingness to get in amongst the willows and mud. Both Bill and Jan’s commitment to Bushcare and in particular to Popes Glen will leave an everlasting impact.

Bill will be dearly missed every month but we wish him all the best for the next chapter in his life.

Free Entry Cultural Centre Threatened Species

Freedom Wilson Exhibition

Bushcare Conversations & Eco Cinema

SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER
10AM – 2PM
FREE EVENT
Learn more about restoring and protecting the natural environment by attending this bushcare information sharing session at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. Local bushcare, conservation and environmental groups will discuss their recent initiatives and provide information about how you can be involved. Our Eco Cinema will screen short documentaries from 10am – 2pm.
RSVP appreciated at reception or 4780 5410.

Welcome to Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare

Scroll down for the latest Gecko Newsletter!

Sepals on Moss by Tanya Mein

Angophora Bark Peeling by Tanya Mein

We support community volunteers undertaking bush regeneration on Council managed bushland reserves (Bushcare) and on bushland on private properties, as well as other non-Council managed land such as schools (Landcare).

Click on Join to register for Bushcare.

To find your local site click on Groups

Red Capped Robin by Bas Hensen

 

You can also attend event-based programs such as Swampcare, Remote Area Bushcare and local one-off planting and weeding days. There are also opportunities to be involved in activities such as seed collecting and fauna surveys.

To find out about events that anyone can join in on, please click on the Calendar

 

 

Gecko Newsletter

Click here for the latest newsletter –  BushcareNewsletterAutumn2018_WEB

Calling all “Buzzinators”   

In celebration of Pollinator week (12th – 19th November)

Can you use your November work day as a day to check your Bushcare Site Bee Hotels?

See who is using them and then email your results to phillipnelson100@gmail.com the convener of the Pollinator website and we will start to compile a list of who’s who – and where…

You can get an idea of which bees you have on site by checking how they are closing up the nest hollows in your Bee Home. Check out Megan Halcroft’s www.beesbusiness.com.au – a very valuable resource!

And this spring remember Pollinators need Food – flowers, shelter and water.

And if your Bushcare site does not have a Bee Hotel do not despair! In early 2018 we will be running another bee hotel making workshop in the lower Mountains. Watch This Space … details coming soon!

Bushcare News: North Katoomba wins Local Government Award for restoring the Minnehaha Falls pool

Minnehaha Falls plunge pool – full of sediment washed into Yosemite Creek from many years of urban development

This year at the annual NSW Local Government Awards, the Blue Mountains City Council  and the local North Katoomba community was recognised for its outstanding work over many years, winning the  Division C and Overall Category Winner of  the Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement: On-Ground Works Award, for the project the Return of the “Bottomless Pool’ in Yosemite Creek, North Katoomba.

The result is the culmination of decades of work addressing urban stormwater runoff and weed invasion, which had previously resulted in sedimentation, erosion and decline of Yosemite Creek’s water quality, as well as loss of habitat and aquatic biodiversity across the Katoomba and Minnehaha Falls Creek.

Local residents lamented the loss of their favourite swimming hole, as the ‘bottomless pool’ at the base of Minnehaha Falls had filled with sediment. A coordinated and collaborative approach with the Blue Mountains City Council, government agencies, businesses and the local community resulted in the successful restoration of Yosemite Creek and the return of the pools including Minnehaha’s ‘bottomless’ plunge pool.

Key to the success of the project has been the long term  involvement of a number of Bushcare and Landcare groups in the broader Katoomba  and Minnehaha Falls Creek both through on ground action and the coordination of annual  sub catchment planning meetings. These groups have, through the leadership of Lyndal Sullivan, provided  a well-coordinated approach to catchment management working closely with Council and NPWS through their yearly planning meetings.

The work of the Minnehaha Falls Bushcare Group needs special mention for its unfailing commitment and the positive results it has been able to achieve in significantly improving the health of the bushland and aquatic habitat of this stream.

The same pool – now clear of sediment and staying that way – thanks to bush regeneration (both paid and unpaid) and improved stormwater management throughout the Yosemite Creek catchment.

Take part in the ‘Recent Ecological Change in Australia’ Survey!

Over the past century, average land surface temperatures have risen by almost 1° C across the Australian continent. Models suggest this may have already had significant impacts on Australia’s ecosystems and biodiversity in some areas, but these impacts have not been systematically investigated.

CSIRO Land and Water and the Department of the Environment and Energy are undertaking an exciting project to collect stories and anecdotes that will help build a national picture of ecological change (or lack there-of) that has been observed in the past 10-20 years or more. We are looking for people with strong links to Australian environments (e.g. farmers, natural resource managers, ecologists, naturalists) to share their stories for an area they know well, including perceptions of the presence or absence of different types of recent ecological change.

To participate, you would need to be able to select a natural area (e.g. your local region or farm, a Nature Reserve, urban bushland) that you have been familiar with for at least the last 10 years. Note that we are interested both in areas where change has been observed and where change has not been observed.

The survey will take about 30 minutes – please click here to undertake the survey.

For further information please contact Suzanne.Prober@csiro.au

A Good Recipe for a Happy Pollinator Garden

Food A pollinator habitat garden is more than just flower beds. By providing an assortment of plants, which flower throughout the year, you are providing a consistent food supply which will encourage pollinating insects and birds to stay, feed, drink, shelter and even reproduce. It is recommended that you plant swathes or large patches of flowers, rather than scattering them randomly through the garden. By planting flowering food-crops in large patches, you encourage specialist pollinators such as bees to forage within these patches, cross pollinating the plants as they move efficiently from flower to flower.

Shelter The next thing you need to do is provide potential shelter. You can include hollow logs, pieces of thick bark and crowds of rocks which will provide shelter and nesting substrate for a variety of pollinators. Resin bees, leafcutter bees and solitary wasps will nest in large drilled holes in wood, which mimic the natural cavities produced by wood-boring insects. Hollow or pithy stems can be collected and bundled up when plants are pruned. These will attract reed bees and masked bees as well as small solitary wasps and ants. By providing small cavities in rockeries or with layers of rolled bark, you will be providing shelter for ladybeetles, resin bees and other pollinators.

In Australia, gardeners are encouraged to mulch their plants, to maintain soil moisture. However, some of our pollinators, such as solitary bees and wasps, nest in the ground and find it hard to dig through the thick layers of mulch. So leave an area of bare ground, at least a metre squared, to encourage ground-nesting bees into your garden.

Water  is necessary for honey bees and birds so include a shallow bird bath, with a large rock in it to reduce the chances of insects drowning. A bowl filled with wet mud will provide minerals and water for some butterfly species and rocks provide insects with a warm place to bask.

Maintenance of your habitat garden is important if the plants and the pollinators are to thrive. Water deeply and regularly to ensure flowers produce plenty of nectar and pollen. Don’t use insecticides. If a plant is infested with many pests, it may need feeding, pruning or pulling out. A healthy garden will not only encourage pollinators, it will encourage wasps, shield bugs, spiders, dragonflies and other natural pest-predators. Keep the water and mud bowls topped up and place a seat out in the garden so you can sit, observe and enjoy your wonderful pollinator habitat garden.

by Megan Halcroft www.beesbusiness.com.au

 

Changes to Noxious Weeds Legislation: the new Biosecurity Act

From 1st July 2017 the NSW State Government has replaced the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 with the Biosecurity Act 2015. Under the Noxious Weeds Act all landowners had a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their property. Under the Biosecurity Act the same responsibility will apply and will be known as a General Biosecurity Duty.

General Biosecurity Duty

Under Part 3 of the Biosecurity Act 2015, landowners or land managers have a “General Biosecurity Duty” to prevent, eliminate or minimise the “Biosecurity Risk” posed or likely to be posed by priority weeds.

What is a Biosecurity Risk?

A biosecurity risk exists where priority weeds have the potential to negatively impact on agriculture, industry, the liveability of our city, human health or the environment.

The new name for invasive weeds

Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 invasive weeds are known as “Biosecurity Matter” or “Priority Weeds”.

The Greater Sydney Local Land Services have created a list of State and Regional Priority Weeds with expected outcomes and recommended measures for each species. Council has also nominated Local Priority Weeds that are a problem within the Local Government Area and specified expected outcomes and control measures for these weeds.

For further information regarding your responsibility or the Biosecurity Act 2015, please go to: http://www.bmcc.nsw.gov.au/sustainableliving/weedmanagement/ or call 47805343.