Creekside land restoration

WEED REMOVAL AND TREE-PLANTING AT SOUTH CEDAR CREEK

Hundreds of trees and native mat rushes have been planted along South Cedar Creek at Ravenshoe as part of a war against weeds.

Landholder Anne Evans said she felt like she and husband Ivan had won Lotto when they were approached about planting trees along a creek bank smothered in lantana and guinea grass.

“You couldn’t see the creek for the weeds a couple of months ago, so we brought in machinery to remove them,’’ she said. “Then we got a call from the council and what they were proposing fitted right in with what we were trying to achieve.”

More than 2000 trees and mat rushes have been planted along the creek bank as part of larger project that Terrain NRM and the Tablelands Regional Council are working on which began with weed removal and revegetation work in nearby council reserves bordering South Cedar Creek.

Terrain NRM’s Chelsy Maloney said the ‘Native Vegetation: Many Hands Make Light Work’ project, funded through the Queensland Government’s Natural Resources Investment Program, was improving the resilience of native vegetation in partnership with local councils.

She said weed removal was the focus for 10 hectares at Marshall Park Reserve, and revegetation work would benefit another two hectares along South Cedar Creek.

“At Marshall Park the canopy trees were there, but everything underneath the canopy was invaded by weeds. If we don’t stay on top of managing this area, it’ll lead to an irreversible change of the ecosystem.”

Tablelands Regional Council’s Cr Annette Haydon said the council was removing weeds and trialling the use of a different combination of species, to be planted in patches of the wet schlerophyll forest.

The goal was also to reduce the amount of seeds flowing downstream and causing weed infestations in other areas.

“We are planting clumps of trees interspersed with dense plantings of mat rushes, also known as Lomandra, to maintain the forest’s openness,’’ Cr Haydon said. “Hopefully this will prevent encroachment of rainforest in the understorey.

“This country is important for quite a few species that are listed as ‘vulnerable’, as well as three endangered eco-systems. We are looking to help species like the yellow-bellied glider and greater glider, which require these open forest communities.”

Lantana is listed as a Weed of National Significance and guinea grass is a transformer weed which out-competes native vegetation.

Work is also underway, as part of the larger Terrain NRM project, to remove hiptage from rainforest in the Douglas Shire and to improve the resilience of rainforest at the edges of a world-heritage area that fire burned through in the Cassowary Coast region.

For more information, visit the ‘Native Vegetation – Many Hands Make Light Work’ project page.

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