12,000 Seedlings Planted to Protect Bushland Reserves Credit: Russell Ord

Extraordinary efforts have been made over the past two months to plant native seedings in bushland and coastal reserves across the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

Since the start of winter, approximately 12,000 seedlings have been planted across over 20 Shire-managed reserves between Cowaramup and Augusta.

Planting has been a collaborative effort by many parties, including the Shire, Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, local Friends of Reserves Groups and Associations, Undalup Association, SWCC, the Margaret River Wine Association, schools and school groups, and community volunteers.

Hundreds of community volunteers have participated in planting and restoration days on Shire reserves, working alongside local Friends of Reserve groups. Local primary school students have also been getting their hands dirty with planting projects through Nature Conservation’s ‘Adopt a Spot’ program.

“It has been extremely encouraging seeing such a high amount of community interest and involvement in planting and brushing this year,” said Shire CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown. 

“Over 800 volunteer hours have been contributed to revegetation on reserves, which is a massive achievement.”

This revegetation work has largely been funded this year through the Shire’s Environmental Management Fund (EMF). The Shire provides EMF funding to external organisations like Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, Lower Blackwood LCDC, and the Undalup Association to implement partnership projects on reserves, including weed control work, revegetation, and support for volunteers and Friends of Reserves groups. The Shire also undertakes restoration work on high priority reserves under its own internal Environment and Landcare budget.

Bush and coastal restoration work is important for increasing local biodiversity, providing habitat for fauna, and improving long-term resilience against threats like weeds, soil-borne disease and erosion. The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has over 300 bushland reserves, covering over 3,000ha. Being in an international biodiversity hotspot, protection of our local reserves is important for the long term survival of the regions unique and diverse flora and fauna.

Tree planting is also a hands-on approach to tackling global issues such as climate change, with trees playing a significant role by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide as they grow, and helping to safeguard natural areas as they adapt to a drying climate.

 “This amazing outcome just would not have been possible without the significant help of volunteers doing work in our reserves,” said Ms Addison-Brown.

“If anyone is thinking about volunteering their time, now is a great time to get involved.

“By joining a local Friends of Reserve group or association, you can participate in a range of different projects to help improve the local environment, and the level of commitment is up to you. Not to mention there are huge social and mental health benefits from being a volunteer.”

A few of the well-known sites around the Shire that have been recently planted include the Rendall Close and Barrett Street weirs, the Rivermouth, Nguraren Kalleep Reserve, sites along the Wadandi Track, and coastal areas at Flinders Bay, Gracetown and Redgate Beach.  

Over the next two to three years, seedlings will be monitored and, if needed, follow up watering or weed control will be undertaken. The green tree guards, which are installed to protect young seedlings from herbivores like rabbits and kangaroos, will be removed during this period as the plants establish. 

Community members interested in volunteering or joining a Friends of Reserve group should contact the Shire of Augusta Margaret River at [email protected] or 9780 5255; or Nature Conservation Margaret River Region at [email protected] or 9757 2202.
09 Aug 2022 Topic Type
General News
Augusta, Cowaramup, Gracetown, Margaret River
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