Yesterday, Bangalee Bushcare lodged an application for the NSW Environmental Trust's Restoration and Rehabilitation Program. Valued at $99,877, if approved, our application will allow us to carry out extensive regeneration works at Bangalee Reserve over the next three years. Our project, titled the 'Bangalee Riverbank Regeneration Project', includes the regeneration of 3.3 hectares of lantana infested river flats and the stabilisation of around 900 metres of eroding riverbank. The erosion control activities will be conducted in partnership with Shoalhaven Riverwatch who will provide materials and support throughout the project. As coordinator of Bangalee Bushcare, Len White will be the project manager throughout the life of the Trust grant.
Our proposal is divided into three distinct stages. In Stage 1, we will be repairing the two natural drainage gullies on the walking tracks on each side of the picnic ground. The exiting drainage pipes are severely damaged and no longer allow the free flow of rainwater. This has resulted in extensive sedimentation of the channels and also prevents adequate vehicle access to regeneration sites. Also in Stage 1, we intend to improve the initial 20 metres of access to the western end of the Reserve so that erosion control equipment and water for tree plantings can be brought in by vehicle instead of being carried by hand. This is absolutely essential to maintain efficiency as the alternative of carrying water and materials up to 350 metres will take a lot of time and effort!
Stage 2 of the project will focus on regeneration of the riverflats and riverbank on the western end of the Reserve. It will start by trialling large scale mechanical clearing of lantana using the services of Groundline Vegetation Management. This should quickly remove most of the lantana leaving only control of regrowth to be done manually. As soon as the lantana is cleared, we will start regenerating the site with native trees. Each tree will be protected from predators by a guard made from three metres of galvanised, 120cm high wire strung around three galvanised star pickets. We have proved at Bangalee that this caging method, while relatively expensive, is by far the most effective form of tree protection as well as one of the most durable.
Throughout Stages 1 and 2, we will be constructing the Shoalhaven Sand Sausage along the western riverbank in partnership with Shoalhaven Riverwatch. As each section is sandbagged, we will be revegetating the bank with Lomandras, River Oaks and other erosion control species.
Stage 3 will repeat the Stage 2 processes on the riverflats and bank on eastern end of the Reserve. It will regenerate an area from roughly where the jetty is located up to where the river walking track intercepts the Condie graves track. Once the project is finished, all that will be left to do is maintain the plantings and keep the weeds at bay until the trees get large enough to form a canopy. Between glyphosate, hand weeding, and watering with the IBC tank, the maintenance stage should be relatively easy.