For many years the focus of this project has been removing Erica (Erica arborea
) from the site. In 2016, 13.4 ha of native grassland was being smothered by this introduced plant. We have reduced the area of primary infestation down to just 5.2ha, and cleared the the other 8.2 ha of all woody weeds. However, as with all works we perform the devil is in the detail and we are now seeing a return of many small Erica seedlings.
Over the past 12 months, Friends volunteers, with the help of the 4WD Adventurers club members who are also driving us up to the project area, have moved from clearing the initial infestation to hand removing these seedlings. Mid 2020 a trial was performed by contractors and departmental staff to determine how best to treat these emerging plants. The trial has successfully identified a reduced chemical rate which affects these seedlings without adversely affecting established natives. Last month the area first cleared of Erica in 2016 was sprayed using this method. It is too early to know how successful this has been but we are hopeful of a good outcome!
In the meantime volunteers will be out continuing the hand removal of these seedlings and giving our native species the best possible chance of regeneration. You can register to come along to the August event online!