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Kicking the milestones for Tomaree

Kicking the milestones for Tomaree

In just a short nine months since a few dedicated souls got together, Friends of Tomaree National Park has grown to around 50 registered participants, many helping at either of our two locations – Zenith Beach and Tomaree Head in North Tomaree, and Fishermans Bay to the south – while others more distant work behind the scenes. Some participants join us once a month, others several times a month, and some to both sites!

We’ve held bushcare workshops funded through the Hunter Region Landcare Network in May and June on recognizing native coastal plants from their weed lookalikes – with fact sheets uploaded to the website. Just over 50 people attended the workshops with great feedback, so we’ll offer again down the track.

Photo Left: John Simpson explains native and weed coastal dune plants (Photo: Mark Wilgar)
Right: Josephine O’Brien shows us how to recognize some reeds and lilies in the riparian gully (Photo: Sue Olsson)

We’ve planted the vulnerable Villous Mint-bush, Prostanthera densa (second from left), in mid May supporting the Save Our Species program. A trusty group of Tomaree friends dived right into it (top right) with Ranger Suse and volunteer Mark (centre) and celebrated afterwards with SOS officer ‘Woody” (bottom left starring in his selfie). Our plantings augmented other translocated plantings in Tomaree National Park to help secure the population into the future — find out more Friends of Tomaree National Park. (Photos: Sue Olsson unless indicated)

At Zenith Beach we’re nailing the invasive species. With a hectare or so between the two access paths to the beach, we’ve pulled or cut the purple-flowering polygala and the yellow-flowering bitou. Both invasive species, particularly bitou, smother and displace native vegetation. We’ve achieved a once over removal of both target invaders, and other incidental weeds. We’ll return periodically to capture seedlings and any targets missed or reshooting, allowing nature to restore the ‘holes’ created.

Moving northward, between Zenith’s north access and the lower reaches of Tomaree Head, we’re working on another hectare. Tomaree friends Barb, Lyn and Mitsy (photo left) are cutting back dense Bitou from around native plants, preparing the site for spraying, while Jenny, John, Lyn, Dallas, Alan and Nigel (photo above right, from right) proudly inspect their work. Where we’ve killed very large Bitou patches (photo centre) we’ll actively plant in August to accelerate natural rehabilitation. And in November-December we’ll plant the rolly polly spinifex seed heads to help revegetate the bare Zenith sand bowl. (Photos: Sue Olsson)

At Fishermans Bay we’re restoring the landscape. Many locals remember when once native plants lined the boat ramp, but in recent years until now, bitou has dominated. Since removing the invasive plant from the beach area, natives are naturally regenerating again. Northward along the foreshore bank we’re removing bitou and mid July we started active planting to give nature a hand. Volunteers (photo from left), David, Josephine, Dennis and Laurie show thumbs up for a great job achieved, delighted their bush care is in such a great location.
Photo: Sue Olsson)

Along the beach gully we’ve been removing Blackberry, and the highly invasive Chinese Violet, a ground cover smothering our riparian vegetation. In Spring we will be planting the gully in an effort to restore its natural habitat.

Come and join us on our regenerative journey. Spend a couple of hours a month or loads more. We’re happy for any contribution. Please contact Josephine or Sue on or read more about the Friends of Tomaree National Park.

Photo: Josephine O’Brien (left), Coordinator Fishermans Bay and Sue Olsson (right), Coordinator North Tomaree, are watering the Lomandra at Fishermans Bay (Photo: Laurie Frawley)