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 at the moment?
(Autumn 2021) The Jetty has been out of action since the August Flood due to severe erosion under the stairs. The jetty itself seems unaffected but the stair supports are precarious. I do not have any idea when it will be fixed. After lots of rain over summer, everything has been growing prolifically. The self sown natives have powered along and the newly cleared areas are showing some of the best seed bank we've seen yet. Unfortunately, the weeds have also powered along but most of them have been annuals which should start to die back in the next six weeks or so. We have been largely keeping on top of the tobacco regrowth but some follow up is needed before spring.
Next week is the start of burning season so many of the piles will hopefully disappear. But we might have to wait till it dries out a bit!
The past few floods have severely damaged our mangrove experiment. It seems only 8 of the original hundred that we planted have survived - though they do look pretty healthy. The mangrove nursery is fully in tact but it too has only a dozen or so survivors out of the 500 seedlings we planted 18 months ago. Hopefully the next mangrove season starting in October will be better.
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.