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Landcare is a non-governmental community movement dedicated to preventing land degradation and achieving sustainable land management. It consists of a network of local volunteer groups of which there are over 1700 in New South Wales alone. Each group works to find local solutions to local problems such as salinity, soil degradation, animal pests, weeds, vegetation loss, waterside erosion, poor water quality, coastal degradation and urban land degradation. If you appreciate how lucky we are in the Helensburgh district to enjoy a relatively unspoiled bush environment you should also be aware that it is under serious threat. read more

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Projects

Biodiversity resides in unexpected places: roadsides, railway easements and small parks just like our Helensburgh Creek site.  By keeping these places weed-free and encouraging local native plants to grow there we can protect our local ecology.
We have two main sites where we are concentrating our efforts. However both these sites have deteriorated in the last couple of years because of the reduction in the number of active Landcare members. As we alternate between sites, they usually only have 3 hours every second month allocated to them and so when there are only two or three workers each time, it is very hard to see any positive results. It is also very heartbreaking to see all the good work of the past being overtaken.



Helensburgh Creek site


corner of Parkes Street and Junction Street, Helensburgh
Description
This was the site of the old Band Hall until it burnt down in 1988.  It now houses the Mine Doctor’s Surgery, an important piece of local history and the home of the Helensburgh Historical Society.  Helensburgh Creek runs across the northern side of the site.  We have worked here for 17 years. It is reasonably clear of weed species and has some well established trees planted by Landcare plus dozens of young trees and shrubs which in time will help to create a sustainable weed-free area of native vegetation.  In collaboration with Wollongong City Council we have plans to extend our regeneration area across the whole site to make it a beautiful restful public park. The Helensburgh Creek site already shows a remarkable transformation from the degraded weed-infested patch it was when we started. Our previous propagation officer, Dean Hawes, did a magnificent job growing a variety of specimens suitable for planting in this area – all from local seed.
2010 Update: Unfortunately, cape ivy, Madeira vine, honeysuckle and bridal creeper are progressively taking over some previously good areas.

Old Station site


corner of Tunnel Road and Old Station Street, Helensburgh.

Description
If you haven’t visited the historic Old Station site you really should do so as it has a wonderful combination of natural and cultural interest. The site’s history is explained on an interpretive sign at the entrance and you can see the old platform and restored Helensburgh railway sign and explore the railway tunnel with its glow worms.


Our regeneration work has made great inroads into the weed-infested slopes either side of the old railway line.  Over the past few years we have removed masses of lantana, wandering Jew, morning glory and some large coral trees. As well as some natural regeneration on the site, we have planted local species which are growing well thanks to the fact that this area is always moist.
2010 Update: Wandering Jew is overtaking the cutting and the station platform. The trees in the entrance are progressing well but we have not been able to make progress on the rest of the morning glory area - it is hard enough keeping it out of the good area.