Members Updates

Members Updates2022-11-03T10:15:16+00:00

Reefcare update for Saturday 4 November 2023

We had a fabulous turn up of 14 people on a lovely warm sunny day. Merrilyn, Gen and Julie targeted Asparagus Fern along the top fence line (below the whale sculpture) – to an area we call the top paddock – they did this all day with Alex and Josh joining them after morning tea. Prior to morning tea, Alex and Josh worked on the Turkey Rhubarb in the nest area – this clearing is going really well, as well as removal of Buffalo and Kikuyu grass in that area. Plan is the plant this area out, as well as the flat in Autumn next year when it is cooler and we are likely to have rain.

Lisa and the team discuss replanting on the site

There was no Turkey Rhubarb on the flat, so Lisa, Stella, Annie and Claire weeded Bromus and BurrMedic along the track before moving across to the eastern dunes and removed the non-native pigs face until morning tea. Des and Ivana roamed the site for weeds, getting lots of small Asparagus Fern whilst

Josh and Alex work on the turkey Rhubarb in the “nest”

John concentrated on Burr Medic and other weeds on the flat. Morning tea was a special one being Ivana’s birthday who kindly brought along a lovely collection of little cakes in which we indulged after a wonderful rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, Kathy brought beautiful bread with two different tips, Stella brought blue berries and someone else chocolate coated pretzels and popcorn. It was a veritable picnic, sitting in beautiful sunshine. Kathy then read out the Site Work Plan for the next year to which we all agreed, a number of us signing, and she will submit this to Northern Beaches Council.

Morning tea, discussing bushcare strategy for the site

After morning tea, those not on Asparagus Fern weeded the western side of the slope, removed some of the non-native pigs face in a couple of different locations, John on general weeding and Des cutting back Bitou along the northern dunes which was encroaching on the Themeda grassland.

The area is important for ospreys

Resident male fairy wren


Text by Lisa Calder

Reefcare update for Saturday 7 October 2023

Morning tea in a beautiful location. Photo by Lisa Calder.

It was a small but committed team of 6 Reefcare members and our Supervisor Kathy who headed down to our site at Long Reef Point with great weather and a cool but rather strong breeze on the headland. As usual, we got distracted by many weeds beside the path down to our site, (not our responsibility, but a concern as these weeds end up on our site as our problem).

Brad continued removing Bitou heading westward whilst Merrilyn and Des scouted the site for never-ending emergence of weeds. This season burr medic and bromus are prevalent, but they were also finding a lot of Asparagus fern which they believe is coming from further up the slope out of our area of responsibility. These have been there many years and just getting larger and larger and left to seed. To this problem, Julie as this month, like last, focused on coring Asparagus on the top areas along the fence (the line between Council responsibility and Reefcare responsibility) – and focused on Asparagus Fern again digging into clumps of Lomandra and dense grass. Coring out the Asparagus crowns in the open areas is straightforward unless they are a wide spreading crown. The photo shows the hassle when the Asparagus is growing through or close to the chain mesh fence. Cutting under the crown gets caught in the wire- so it is thought that a sharp mattock for better leverage would be better.

Removing asparagus fern rhizomes when it is enmeshed in a wire fence is challenging! Photo by Julie Whitfield.

Kathy and Lisa worked on the flat area on Turkey Rhubarb whilst Kristie worked in the area we call ‘The Nest’.

At morning tea the group discussed the Work Plan for the next 12 months which needs to be submitted to NB Council. After morning tea, Lisa walked around the site with Kathie our Supervisor to complete information for the Work Plan, then Kathie worked in the NW area with Brad, whist Lisa and Kristie focused on Burr Medic in the eastern dune area.

This is a Maroubra woodland snail. The first living specimen seen on the North side of Sydney Harbour. It was found at Long Reef and is currently living the good life at Brad’s place.

Reefcare update for Saturday 2 September 2023

Julie in her natural environment: surrounded by wattle, the sea and bitou!

It was a beautiful sunny day with a charm of magpies singing their morning songs, as the bushcare group assembled at the top of Long Reef car park. After signing in, allocating tools, and discussing a work plan, we made our way down the track, passing a pair of tiny red-wattlebird chicks called out plaintively for breakfast from a Tea Tree.

As we descended the track, Brad and Merrilyn peeled off to stay on the high slopes, watering new plantings and tackling the small Bitou seedlings that kept popping up on the exposed areas. Julie also worked a patch high on the western side of the Gully, checking the young banskia plants
and giving them some much-needed water. She also found quite a few Bitou seedlings growing amongst the Tea Trees. These seem to be seeding from the mature plants further downhill towards the ocean, helped by the regular sea breezes.

Merrilyn at work with the loppers on the upper slopes

There was plenty of asparagus fern around, so Brad, Merrilyn and Julie worked to remove these,
especially as they were producing berries. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the slope on the flat area, Claire and Denise worked on the Burr Medic,
eventually collecting a huge bag full. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, taking great satisfaction in removing large plants, roots and all!

Alex and Josh worked on the Turkey Rhubarb in the nest, yielding yet *more* large bulbs.  They report that the areas yielding the bulbs are quite localised now, and we hope to be able to replant the nest soon.

We had a nice relaxing morning tea, sitting on the lush flat grass, enjoying the view, snacking on Anzac Biscuits and Digestives, as Ospreys wheeled overhead. Kathy had some good suggestions on how we can promote better and faster revegetation of the areas that we have been weeding, which was really useful. Long Reef was particularly quiet of people this morning, as a surf-ski event meant that the carpark was full early, and that limited the number of visitors to the headland.

After morning tea, John tackled the Turkey Rhubarb plant on the south-eastern side of the fence, near the flat area where people pile rubbish that they have collected from the beach. This rhubarb plant was spotted by Kathy last month and will require further follow-up work. There was quite a lot of burr medic around, so Claire, Denise and Kathy continued on removing these, including the seeding plants along the track. This should help prevent further spread from the regular foot traffic.

Denise, Kathy and Claire try to shelter from the wind as they clear the track of burr medic.

Late into the morning, the wind had suddenly picked up from the south, keeping it quite cool in the exposed conditions that are so typical of this environment. At midday we headed back up the slope and back to the car park, now feeling quite warm, but satisfied and happy with a morning of good bushcare and good company.

Text and photos by John Isles

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