Kings Park Master Gardeners come to visit
Cottesloe Coastcare Association (CCA) volunteers and the North Metropolitan Coastcare Officer Kate Sputore were delighted to welcome volunteer Master Gardeners and M.G’s mentor, Bob Dixon (Manager of Biodiversity and Extensions, Kings Park and Botanic Garden) to Cottesloe, on Tuesday 13th November.
CCA Chairman, Dr Mike Ewing greeted everyone and talked about the group’s 16 years of commitment to Cottesloe’s natural areas. There have been ‘highs and lows’ but today CCA has a good working relationship with Town of Cottesloe. Projects are guided by a ‘Natural Areas Management Plan’ which was instigated by CCA and to which CCA had a considerable input. Cottesloe Coastcare has 8 project sites, 4 of these were seen by the group. CCA has been very fortunate in being very successful with (modest) funding applications to Federal and State governments and from corporations – for fence and ramp building and to purchase approximately 4000 (local provenance plants), each year.
Kate Sputore spoke about the challenges faced by all the Coastcare groups she works with. Development has historically been very close to the coast, primary dunes have been eroded by ‘people pressure’ and by rabbits; inappropriate flora has been planted and local government does not always have natural areas restoration high on their priorities.
CCA volunteers enjoyed showing some ‘before’ photographs of the various projects visited – the first at Mudurup Rocks, a registered Aboriginal site. Most the sites visited were bare or highly weed infested before the Coastcare projects commenced. Once the existing vegetation was studied and herbarium specimens collected – where necessary; seed collection at ‘close by sites’ commenced. Weeding and rabbit control are next in line and fence and ramp building carried out, where required. The fun part is planting, which happens each May and June, with all seedlings ‘deep- planted’ in ‘bowl like depressions’ and watered in well. In Spring, Coastcare volunteers start weeding, again!
The group walked 1.5kms, past a new CCA project site on the foredune at the end of Napier Street, then past a more mature fore dune project before ending at Grant Marine Park. CCA volunteers have been working at this park since 2004.There has been good progress – at first it was a severely eroded and weed infested dune, laced with a maze of informal paths and home to multitudes of rabbits. Today it has a delineated and well-used recreational area with good paths and the secondary dune has an increasingly healthy suite of 20 species of local flora. We were all pleased to count 7 bobtails along our walk and see two Nankeen kestrels hunting overhead!
Later we shared cups of tea and ‘shearers rock buns’ on the lawns at Grant Marine Park, under the shade of the Norfolk Island Pines.