Saturday, June 21, 2008

Grande Finale!

A well earned cuppa for some of the hard working planters at Grant Marine Park

We can all breathe a collective sigh of satisfied relief - this week the last of altogether 2,696 local seedlings for 2008 were planted by Cottesloe Coastcare members and their many helpers. All of these plants were propagated for us by APACE from seeds collected and cuttings taken by us from our local species - so they all belong here and will increase and sustain the growing biodiversity of Cottesloe's natural areas.

This year, we concentrated our efforts on nurturing and complementing our existing projects - as you have read in previous postings, we have worked with students from Cottesloe Primary School and Scotch College, with staff from Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Future Farm Industries, and volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Australia, sponsored by Woodside Industries. In addition to joining these groups for long hours of intensive weeding and planting, several Cottesloe Coastcare members worked individually on various sites in the dunes, at Mudurup Rocks and in the Cottesloe Native Gardens to ensure that gaps in the local vegetation will eventually be closed and introduced species removed.

Now we want lots of rain to enable all of our plants to grow and prosper!

[Photo by Sue Freeth]

Friday, June 13, 2008

Future Farm feature

Mike Ewing and his team from Future Farm Industries CRC took a morning out from their normal focus, researching new and adaptable farming systems, to get some hands on experience planting at Dutch Inn. Clearly a well-oiled team, they not only organised superb weather, but also fresh coffee to start the day!

Greg kept the water flowing, while Pollock socialised with the passing parade of people and dogs, and the rest of the team dug (deeply), planted, watered and staked. By the end of the morning some 200 plants, including knotty club rush, berry saltbush and Acacia cyclops, were in place, and Ingrid had the evidence to prove it.

Saltbush, with its ability to withstand drought and survive in saline conditions, is one of the species of perennial plants of interest to FFI CRC. As well, meat from lambs fed with saltbush is said to be tender, tastier and full of flavour. You can read more about FFI CRC at and the work on saltbush at Landline.

Dutch Inn is one of CCA's original sites and was in need of infill planting to recover some of the areas that had blown out. Cottesloe Coastcare really appreciates the time and effort the FFI CRC team put in to help us restore and protect the natural vegetation of our coastline.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scotching weeds

Which plants are weeds? How do they get here? Why do we only plant local Cottesloe plants? These were some of the questions we discussed with an energetic group of Year 8's from Scotch College on Tuesday at Grant Marine Park.

Frauke and Jan emphasised the importance of local plants as habitat and a food source for local fauna such as insects, butterflies, lizards and birds, as well as their importance in stabilising the dunes and preventing erosion. Local plants also coexist well, presenting a diversity of species, unlike some of the introduced species, such as Tetragonia and Pelargonium, which quickly dominate and smother other plants. Many of our most invasive weeds have come from South Africa - and some like the Black Flag (Ferarria crispa), seem to thrive here even more than they do at home.

The boys then attacked a large patch of Rose Pelargonium and Dune Onion weed with gusto. Once cleared they replanted with some local Cottesloe plants - Coast Daisybush (Olearia axillaris) and Berry Saltbush (Rhagodia baccata) and watered them in.

Thank you again to the boys and their teacher for helping us - we really appreciate their help in the never ending battle against weeds - and hope they gained a little more knowledge about their local environment. You can read more (and see more photos) on the Scotch College website.