Re-vegetation with native species can be a great way to enhance the local environment, provide habitat for local wildlife and also shade out weeds such as Blackberries and Ragwort. One thing to be aware of is that some weeds thrive in shady conditions and if left unchecked can rapidly take over and smother and kill any of your new plantings and provide no chance for other native species to naturally regenerate. Weeds that already exist in the area and that thrive under canopy shade include Blue Periwinkle (Vinca Major), Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) and Wandering Creeper (Tradescantia fluminensis). A major priority of any project, where shady conditions exist or will be created, should be to control these weeds if they are present. If you are planning re-vegetation these weeds should be eliminated from a site before you start any planting.
This site is all about restoring the vegetation in a steep gully that runs through a grazing property in the upper catchment of Flynn’s Creek and contains some remnant vegetation. The steep gully land has relatively low productivity; given its difficulty to manage and access it is also an area of the property that is vulnerable to erosion and weed infestations. Fencing to exclude stock and re-vegetation of the cleared areas will have multiple environmental benefits and provide a valuable habitat link for scattered patches of remnant forest. The total area involves 1.3 ha and 2000 indigenous tube-stock plants are being used for the re-vegetation. It is anticipated that stock exclusion will also allow natural regeneration of plants from the pockets of remaining vegetation contained in the gully as well as from the newly planted species when they are established enough to start reproducing. Other native species will also be re-introduced to the site via movement of seed and spores. There is a narrow stock crossing across the site where access can be gained to the other side of the gully; this will allow access for maintenance of the boundary fence-line and for weed control.
As part of this community environmental action project we are setting up demonstation sites to highlight some best practice action that community members can make. This project example involves stabilising a significant Landslip, which occurred on an area of steep grazing land, the only woody vegetation on the site was some large wattle trees that were killed in the fires and have not regenerated. The slip occurred after some heavy winter rain fell on the fire damage landscape and the mass movement of soil move the landholder’s boundary fence out of alignment and caused the temporary closure of the adjacent road. Plantings of 1200 carefully selected native species and fencing of the site to exclude stock are actions taken to rehabilitate the site and stop further slippage and mass movement of the soil.