By Steve Fleischmann
The Blue Mountains City Council remote Bushcare
Program began 16 years ago, working in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) across several adjoining land tenures.
These remote events are planned with Bushcare/Landcare Groups to extend their work further into parts of the catchment that are difficult to access. It provides an opportunity for group members to gain a better understanding of their sub catchments and the issues they face such as seed dispersal.
Broom and Gorse have the ability to shoot their seeds some metres away which allows infestations to thicken quickly and to spread, particularly along water courses. Their pods burst open in hot weather during spring and summer, scattering seeds up to several metres from the plant. Seeds of these species have a hard coat that can delay germination for months or years, allowing large seed banks to develop. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for many years (https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/ScotchBroom).
These weed seeds are carried along streams and rivers by water and sediment resulting in long distance dispersal downstream and germinatation at new sites, especially in gullies. This is particularly true of Broom and Gorse.
A coordinated approach has been undertaken with the NPWS as part of the Great Grose Weed Walk program, in order to reduce the volume of weed propagules entering the Grose Valley and other wilderness areas.
Bushcare, BMCC staff and contractors have been working in the upper parts of Popes Glen for many years treating Gorse, Montbretia, Holly, Broom, Rhododendrons, Tutsan and whatever else they find hiding in the ferns.
Recently, Bushcare volunteers, Steve Fleischmann (Bushcare Officer) and Grant Purcell (Ranger) from NPWS worked as a team in the lower parts of Popes Glen. The team met at the NPWS Heritage Centre, tooled up and made their way downstream with half the volunteers working upstream near the Cliff tops while the other half worked downstream along and in the creek treating Montbretia.
Due to recent rains many weeds had been flattened by water flowing down the creekline which in turn made it difficult to spot them. Many slow sweeps of the riparian zones were required to locate and treat weeds such as Gorse, Broom and Montbretia. This Remote Program made up of volunteers has made a significant impact on the weed density in the lower parts of Pope’s
Glen Creek. If you are looking for a challenging but interesting day out where you can make a difference join our Remote Program.