Big Scrub Landcare’s Enhancing remnants, linkages and corridors across the Big Scrub project has been wrapped up with praise for doubling or tripling a number of its expected outcomes.
The three-year project, which was completed late last year, received its review from the NSW Environmental Trust, which commended the project for:
- Converting 22 hectares of mixed camphor laurel to regenerating lowland subtropical rainforest
- Creating stepping-stone linkages between remnants and expanding the area of rainforest habitat
- Exceeding community promotion outcomes and building capacity among 14 landholders to improve, restore and protect rainforest links across 10 properties.
Year three of the $100,000 project consolidated earlier stages of work by controlling new weed growth and improving the condition of remnant and regrowth areas. This contributed to improvements in the extent and connectivity of rainforest habitat across strategically chosen sites in the Big Scrub footprint.
On some sites complete control of canopy infestations of Camphor Laurel has already changed the nature of vegetation to regenerating lowland rainforest. Existing rainforest trees have grown and are beginning to replace weeds that occupied the mid layers of the forest. Germination of pioneer species, like Native Peach and Bleeding Heart, is common as well as the expansion of native ground covers, such as Basket Grass and Common Ground Fern.
By focussing on sites with strong natural resilience and linking remnants to regenerating forest, the project has enhanced corridors to assist fauna movement and seed and pollen distribution. The project’s photopoint monitoring revealed improvements in vegetation structure, with species like Red Cedar, Cudgerie, Maidens Blush and Bangalow Palm moving into the spaces vacated by removal of Camphor and other weeds.
The landowners are to be commended for their active involvement in the project. They demonstrated their commitment to rainforest restoration by working alongside bush regenerators, with many making financial contributions of their own to fund bush regeneration work.
Some were the owners of notable remnants previously involved in Big Scrub Landcare’s Remnant Care Program. But this project also ushered in new landowners who have not had experience working with professional bush regenerators before.
Now complete, the project exceeded its goals and, just as importantly, built upon the wonderful legacy of stewardship that resides in the Big Scrub community.
This project was assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust. Big Scrub Landcare thanks the Trust for its invaluable contribution.
Thank you also to our bush regeneration contractors Envite Environment, Big Scrub Regen and Darren Bailey for collectively undertaking 1500 hours of on-ground work.