Grant fund to target Mount Gibraltar weeds

20 June, 2012Posted in: Environment
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The steep slopes of Mount Gibraltar will soon be looking a bit clearer thanks to a grant from Sydney Catchment Authority (SCA) to remove exotic weeds.

The funding of $8,000 was provided under the SCA’s Catchment Protection and Improvement Grants Program which provides community groups with financial support for projects that protect and improve water quality through riparian and environmental restoration, or for projects that educate the community about protecting catchments and water quality.

It will enable another stage of important restoration works to the area to be carried out.

An infestation of exotic weeds including Barberry, Privet, Cherry Laurel, Hawthorn, Holly and Buddleia shrubs, along with English Ivy, Cape Ivy and Honeysuckle vines will be removed from the rough slopes above the junction of Cliff and Ellen Streets in Bowral.

The site is highly disturbed as a result of former quarrying but experience has shown that the native forest can regenerate well following the removal of invasive weeds.

Mount Gibraltar Landcare and Bushcare group have been working over the past 19 years to remove weeds from the reserve by undertaking weekly bush regeneration using a careful and systematic plan.

However, some areas of infestation are too steep to be tackled safely by volunteers and require the efforts of professional bush regeneration contractors.

The SCA has contributed regularly to this restoration project as they understand that collaborative partnerships with the catchment community are important to ensure our catchments and the drinking water they supply remain healthy for everyone’s benefit.

Wingecarribee Shire Council also actively supports the Mount Gibraltar Landcare and Bushcare group through help with grant applications and maintenance of the regenerating sites through the Environment Levy.

The Mount Gibraltar Forest and Robertson Tall Basalt Forest have recently been listed as a Nationally Endangered Ecological Community under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, listed as Upland Basalt Eucalypt Forest of the Sydney Basin Bioregion. This provides added importance to the control of invasive weeds to allow regeneration of this very precious local vegetation.

For further information please contact Council’s Natural Resource Officer Paul Marshall on phone 4868 0772.