Banksmeadow Public School ESBS Weed Control Project

Greater Sydney Local Land Services provided our co-op with a grant to assist in weed control within an Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) remnant on the grounds of Banksmeadow Public School. ESBS is a critically endangered ecological community, with around 2% of its original range remaining. This specific ESBS patch is a biobank offset for losses caused by expansion works at NSW Golf Club. The Banksmeadow Public School site supports a specific type of ESBS remnant which occurs on high sand dunes and crests.

Local birdlife such as Rainbow Lorikeets feeding off the nectar on the spikes of the native Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea resinosa).
ESBS remnant covered by clumps of dense African Love Grass (Eragrostis curvula), inhibiting the growth of native plant species
ESBS remnant after works were completed. Patch now given a chance to regenerate.

The running of the project involved four site visits which focused on removing noxious weeds such as African Love Grass (Eragrostis curvula), Morning Glory (Ipomea indica), Common Couch (Cynodon dactylon), Lantana (Lantana camara) and Turkey Rhubarb (Acetosa sagittata). Removal of these weeds was primarily achieved via firstly brush cutting masses of African Love Grasses covering the work area, hence creating access to the ground cover weeds and vines, thus enabling efficient and effective hand removal. ‘Clear ground raking’ was then applied. This bush regeneration practice involves raking and scraping back excess mulch, which then exposes the bare sand of the remnant which hopefully provides more optimal conditions for native seed germination.

While working on site, we discovered and identified some unique native floral species such as the Daphne Heath (Brachyloma daphnoides), Bloodroot (Haemodorum planifolium), Variable Sword-Sedge (Lepidosperma laterale), Flaky-Barked Tea-Tree (Leptospermum trinervium) and Twining Glycine (Glycine clandestina). Hopefully, as a result of our efforts, the regeneration of the site can occur a little more easily. The native plants there will have room for growth and the seed bank has been given the best chance for activation.

Overall, this project was a highly rewarding experience for all involved. To begin the process of reverting the site back to its natural state and hopefully restoring its functionality, from a dense weedy patch, was a satisfying feeling for us. Being situated on school grounds provides a unique opportunity for remnant to be used a valuable educational tool for students, teachers and the general public going forward.

Regeneration of Pomax (Pomax Umbellata) amongst Variable Sword-Sedge (Lepidosperma laterale). Lepidosperma species are indicators of relatively undisturbed original ESBS soil.
Twining Glycine (Glycine clandestina) amongst the Grass Trees.

Acacia teminalis subsp. terminalis

This year one of our Bush Regenerators, Anna Voytsekhovich participated in the international competition of Scientific Botanical illustration “Margaret Flockton Awards 2021” with her ink drawing of Acacia terminalis subsp. terminalis. The competition was really tough as 103 artworks by 79 artists from 25 countries participated. But her work was among the 5 winners with a Highly Commended award.

Anna’s idea of participating in this competition was not about winning but about getting more attention for this wonderful yet threatened plant. Her hope is that eventually her drawing will resonate (somewhere, somehow), as it will be exhibited in 3 Botanic Gardens ( first in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, then in Mount Annan Botanic Garden and Blue Mountains Botanic Garden) + online exhibition. So eventually we might get more attention for Acacia terminalis subsp. terminalis from the public.

The drawing depicts the specimen from Chifley and was drawn from both live specimen and photos (no plant was harmed during the process). And I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Alex Bamforth, for consulting me on a few very important  morphological aspects of that subspecies and helping my artwork get the required scientific accuracy.

So, here is the link on the results of competition, where you can see the artwork of all winners and other participants:

Anna really hopes we all like it and celebrate with her this little success as it partially belongs to everyone who has worked hard giving Acacia terminalis subsp terminalis a chance to survive!



Provest Creek Ecological Restoration

Our client Wild Habitats Inc. received funding through the Federal CEP (Community Environment Program) to restore Provest Creek in Hornsby Heights Sydney back to a healthy creekline.