In 2011 Bass Sydney started on a new long term project on the banks of the Nepean River in Emu Plains. We have partnered with McCarthy Catholic College, Greening Australia, Penrith City Council, Springwood Bass and the Hawkesbury/Nepean Catchment Management Authority to improve the riparian vegetation of this highly degraded area. With ongoing maintenance we expect this project to take somewhere between 5 & 10 years and thousands of man-hours, if ever finished.
The site was divided into 3 areas and weed mapping and vegetation lists were completed. This allowed us to focus our activities on restoring the core areas of good bush.
The first task was to remove the Balloon Vine. The first 2 sessions were dedicated to skirting (cutting down) the existing vines to free up the canopy and allow light into the site to encourage natural regeneration. The response was immediate with vast quantities of Bracken quickly establishing and out competing existing weed species.
Before work began
One month later
The next stage was to start removal of some of the woody weeds like large and small leaf Privet, Coral trees and Gleditsia's. Larger specimens were frilled (chiselled and poisoned) or drilled to maintain habitat.
After receiving some funding from a grant, Section 2 began in early January with the removal of Balloon Vine and Castor Oil trees downstream of the original worksite. This area is highly degraded and may require planting but a few surprises were found including a mature Sandpaper Fig in fruit.
A buffer zone will be planted in the areas with no chance of natural regeneration to protect the natural bushland. A vegetation plan was prepared by Alan Fowkes and will hopefully be implemented sometime in 2012.