Community Habitat Day

Saturday 24th, sunny and warm saw over 20 Blackheath community members turn up for a morning of information, fun and a little work. Great results for parents and children helping to maintain Bird Habitat Number 1 in the old “Weed Mosaic” area, now a thriving native habitat.

Learning about Weeds (Gorse)

On the track to the work area for the morning, the group looked at some well-progressed rehabilitation (at right of photo), a newly planted area (at left) and a sample of one of the weeds that has been almost eradicated – Gorse! One new seedling was found next to the track and quickly removed. A few more seedlings were gathered up along the track.

Community members and their children then walked on to the morning’s work area, while some of the experienced Bushcare group members went further afield to tackle more difficult weeding.

Learning about Fauna

In the pleasant shade, the community group firstly learned a bit about Bush regeneration and safety, then about the birds, other fauna such as reptiles, crayfish and mammals that might take advantage of the diverse habitat being created. Here, Blue Mountains City Council Bushcare Officer Nathan Summers talks here about Native Crayfish and Quolls. Other fauna likely to be seen around this site are reptiles including snakes, skinks and lizards and a variety of frog species. Swamp Wallabies are also frequent visitors; they enjoy eating some of the succulent new growth on the Acacias and Callicomas the group has planted over the years. Feral species such as the Fox and “domestic” cats also unfortunately make use of the same habitat.

Popes Glen Group Coordinator Alan Lane talked about the vegetation itself and Deputy Paul Vale discussed the birdlife present (only Superb Fairy Wrens so far today) and how the habitat being managed is suitable for both Bushland and Water Bird species due to the nearby permanent creek.

Community Work Day

After a delicious morning tea provided by Council, the community group put on their gloves and set to work rescuing some of the natives, which have become overgrown with weed grasses during summer. Other weeds found and removed included Japanese Honeysuckle, English Ivy and some more Gorse seedlings.

So a very enjoyable, informative and productive morning.

The Bushcare Group is now in the last 4 months of the substantial 6-year grant from NSW Environmental Trust. In our report to The Trust later this year on the progress in the last 12 months and the overall success of the project, we will be noting the fantastic support received from a broad cross-section of the Blackheath Community.