Bangalee Bushcare is a group of dedicated volunteers working under the auspices of Shoalhaven City Council towards the eventual rehabilitation of Bangalee Reserve.
Located on the northern side of the Shoalhaven River, approximately 8km upsteam of Nowra, NSW, Bangalee Reserve is a 130 hectare public park. It encompasses many different types of habitat ranging from dry eucalypt forest high on the ridges, to rainforest and riparian habitats closer to the River. Since its formation in the early 2000's, Bangalee Bushcare has successfully regenerated 17 hectares of bushland in some of the most degraded parts of the Reserve.
What's Happening this Month?
(14 March) Bushcare has now been moved to Sunday's from 8am until lunch. This is to accommodate one of our regular volunteers who now works Saturdays.
We finally reached the western fence of the Reserve - a full 300m upstream of the picnic ground. The next few weeks is going to be spent tidying up the last remnants of lantana along the riverbank in preparation for the start of burning season next month.
Most of the planting area has become extremely overgrown with Kangaroo Apple, Sigisbaekia, and Cobbler's Pegs. We have reopened the access tracks into the planting area and have started watering and weeding the plants. About 10% of the plants have not survived - some have been eaten by wallabies, some smothered by native regrowth and some just didn't survive the dry weather. The ones that have survived are nearly all thriving. There are numerous that have gone from tube stock sized to two metres high in just a few months. The rain we're having now should speed them up even more.
Once winter sets in properly, the annual weeds will die back and we will spend a week or two tidying up the planting area and replacing any that haven't survived.
The Shoalhaven River
Bangalee Reserve has nearly 2.3km of frontage along the Shoalhaven River. As a result, the River plays a major role in the biodiversity of the Reserve and is a main focus of Bangalee Bushcare. Because much of the riverflats are severely weed infested and degraded, we spend most of our time working towards rehabilitating that vital zone.
The video below shows some of the wildlife in the River as well as the extent of the erosion and weed infestation. (music: www.scottbuckley.com.au)
Bangalee Bushcare works on bush regeneration activities throughout the Reserve. Although we mostly focus on the riverflats due to the extent of degradation in that area, we do also maintain significant sections of rainforest higher up the ridges.
On the riverflats, the main weeds we control are lantana, wild tobacco and several different types of vine. Once these are cleared, we revegetate with native trees and maintain the cleared areas to prevent weeds from returning. Not all the work is done onsite however. We also have a significant plant propagation operation spread between our various personal residences.
The video below shows a time lapse of lantana clearing along the riverflats (music: www.scottbuckley.com.au). Apologies for the slightly blurred rendering. It will be fixed at some point if possible.