Bush Regeneration at Denistone Park

Denistone Park contains areas of open recreation parkland as well as areas of the beautiful and critically endangered Blue Gum High Forest. This site sits on a ridge line and has deep clay soils on its south-facing slopes that have formed from Wianamatta Shale (a geological feature of the Sydney basin that formed from the migration of a delta). These soils are what allows a Blue Gum High Forest vegetation community to exist on this site.

The aims of this three-year project included:

–      Reducing weed densities throughout the site, particularly herbaceous annuals, exotic grasses and vines.

–      Reducing woody weed densities throughout the site.

–      Continue the expansion of good condition Zone 1 downhill towards Zone 3.

–      Monitoring the Bushcare area.

–      Maximising the regeneration of native species.

–      Collecting local provenance seed for future planting.

–      Reporting on all activities and issues within the project.

–      Assist in implementing measures to reduce the impacts on local environment and to promote regeneration.

As we do with all our projects, all works were conducted using best practice methods, all weed propagules were appropriately bagged and removed from site and all works were conducted with the intent to reduce weed abundance and promote native regeneration.

All herbicide use was undertaken by staff that have received appropriate chemical handling and application training (e.g. Chem Cert Accreditation AQF3). Herbicide records are kept and are accessible on request.

We strive to create a safe and sustainable work place for our staff and all of 0ur crew perform their works in a safe manner, with the correct PPE worn at all times, including: long sleeves, work boots, safety glasses, a hat, sunscreen and all activity-related Personal Protective Equipment that is required throughout the contract. All staff had easy access to specialised snake bandages, and underwent treatment procedures training prior to working on site. As well as this, all supervisors at minimal held current Senior First Aid training and there was always a first aid officer on site. Daily pre-start meetings and tool box talks were undertaken prior to each day’s activities and were devised to create a safe and efficient workplace, and to enable hazards to be easily reported and resolved before and during any work activities.

All Zones (1, 2 and 3) were worked throughout the third year of the contract. The primary focus of this contract was to reduce weed abundance and promote native regeneration,

Primary works on woody weeds, exotic grasses and vines occurred in all Zones. These works were primarily focused on woody weed clearing and the expansion of good condition bushland, as well as maintaining low level herbaceous and vine weed abundance throughout the overall site.

Secondary works were conducted in previously primary treated areas and were focused on treating re-emerging and emerging juveniles of treated weed species, as well as emerging herbaceous annuals and exotic grasses.

Maintenance works were conducted throughout the site, mainly focusing on areas of better condition bushland and site edges. Herbaceous annuals, exotic grasses and vines were particularly targeted as part of these works.

The methods that were adopted to conduct all aspects of works were largely successful in achieving the outcomes outlined in the scope of works, as can be seen in some of our monitoring photo points below.

The continued approach of conducting primary works from areas higher in the landscape and in better condition (Zone 1) towards poorer condition areas that are down-slope (Zone 3) has enabled very good regenerative results. Follow up works via hand weeding and thermal weeding has also helped encourage significant native regeneration. An abundance of native species from all stratum have, and continue to emerge, within the Zone 1/3 interface regeneration zone.

Spot spray, direct herbicide application (scrape and paint, cut and paint) and hand weed techniques conducted throughout the broader site area have been largely successful in maintaining low levels of annuals, tufted grasses and weedy vines in other worked areas of the site.

We look forward to continuing to work with Ryde City Council on this project in 2018.