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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

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[OT] Coffs Harbour - Port Macquarie Bitou Bashing

Superstu
15/05/2013
8:38:18 AM
If you live in the Coffs Harbour - Port Macquarie area and jealous of all the fun we've been having killing bitou on Sydney sea cliffs, you too can join in on the fun.

The Biggest Beach Bitou Bash Ever is on all this month. If you love your beautiful coast and want to help out, why not come along to one of these days.



Note this isn't a climber initiative per se, but still a worthy cause. The days are always fun, you meet cool people, learn lots about coastal ecology, and get warm fuzzies from helping look after a special part of the world. Contact the names in the flyer for more details.

Plus any sad Victorian will tell you why you don't want bitou (boneseed) getting out of control and invading your local crags!

Superstu
15/05/2013
9:30:51 AM
I'd be interested to know if any of those areas they are working have cliffs? I know there is climbing around Coffs but no idea whether any of it is sea cliffs or coastal.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/05/2013
9:52:34 AM
On 15/05/2013 Superstu wrote:
>I'd be interested to know if any of those areas they are working have cliffs?
>I know there is climbing around Coffs but no idea whether any of it is
>sea cliffs or coastal.
~> A good excuse to get out and explore?

I came across the following (excerpt from a manual), that may interest others regarding the history of this plant in Australia.
One hundred years ago the first bitou bush plant was recorded as naturalised in Australia, growing
in coastal vegetation at Stockton north of Newcastle, New South Wales. Since this time it has
had a chequered history. It was promoted by the NSW Soil Conservation Board who recognised
its rapid growth and ability to stabilise soils following mining in coastal sand dunes. Deliberate
planting occurred along the New South Wales coastline for several decades until its weedy status
was acknowledged and it was declared a noxious weed. Due to its rapid spread and ability to form
monocultures, it was later listed as a key threat to biodiversity and a Weed of National Significance
(WoNS).

Through this combination of deliberate plantings and natural spread bitou bush now occurs along
80% of the New South Wales coastline. Populations also occur in north-eastern Victoria and in
South-East Queensland. An eradication program has been underway in Queensland since 1981.
Bitou bush is unique in its WoNS status as a purely environmental weed, affecting a range of
native species.
A recent assessment of the biodiversity at risk in New South Wales showed that bitou bush posed a significant threat to over 150 native plants and 24 different coastal vegetation communities.
(snip)
Soil stabilisation and secondary weed invasion, may become more significant issues than bitou bush if left to persist (after bitou removal).


... too bad that cane toads don't eat it eh?
Heh, heh, heh.


Superstu
15/05/2013
10:26:25 AM
Yeah, as if sand mining the beaches wasn't enough, they planted exotic bitou as a half-arsed attempt at rehabilitation afterwards ... !


I was just curious as bitou loves rocky headlands. A pic from last sat beneath one of the old forgotten barrenjoey cliffs:


As far as I know its not at Point Perp yet, although it would love that place. Which is why I am keen to get climbers at least aware. If they can spot it early, NPWS and land managers will be eternally grateful. Compare sending a few rangers out to clear a small patch of pioneering bush on a cliff, versus the effort involved coordinating hundreds of volunteers to tackle infestations.


james
15/05/2013
11:52:00 AM
On 15/05/2013 Superstu wrote:
>I'd be interested to know if any of those areas they are working have cliffs?
>I know there is climbing around Coffs but no idea whether any of it is
>sea cliffs or coastal.

the crags are inland Stu... look for Castlereagh on a map & they're kinda near there.

Hawkman
15/05/2013
1:11:01 PM
no real climbing on any of those headlands. Grassy head has a little bit but not much. the main climbing is well north of the areas covered in these work days near Glenreagh

IdratherbeclimbingM9
15/05/2013
1:30:26 PM
On 15/05/2013 james wrote:
>the crags are inland Stu... look for Castlereagh on a map & they're kinda near there.

~> That would be the Warrumbungle's, near the Castlereagh River...
Heh, heh, heh.

Superstu
15/05/2013
1:46:18 PM
On 15/05/2013 IdratherbeclimbingM9 wrote:

>Soil stabilisation and secondary weed invasion, may become more significant
>issues than bitou bush if left to persist (after bitou removal).


Standard procedure is to cut the bush back to the base and treat with poison (i.e. dont pull out leaving a sandy hole) and to also treat/remove any nearby weeds like asparagus fern so they can't easily move over in to the space you create. Also its best to work from good bush (mostly native some weeds) towards bad bush (overrun with weeds) as it gives the natives a chance to recolonise as you progress. Its quite gratifying to see the natives reappear beneath the cliffs when you walk past areas previously worked.

NPWS refer to these cliffcare days as the 'mountain goat weeders', as they like that we can work along rough and rocky terrain with ease. The oldie bushcare groups and schoolies get the boring dune work!

>... too bad that cane toads don't eat it eh?
>Heh, heh, heh.

Yeah and bummer that asparagus fern ain't too tasty either, despite its lineage!

Superstu
15/05/2013
1:57:16 PM
On 15/05/2013 Hawkman wrote:
>no real climbing on any of those headlands. Grassy head has a little bit
>but not much. the main climbing is well north of the areas covered in these
>work days near Glenreagh

Ah, "Back Creek SW Rocks" a bit more like SW pebbles?
james
15/05/2013
2:34:01 PM
meh Glenreagh.... Castlereagh.... same same, neither are on the coast.

Duang Daunk
15/05/2013
3:02:31 PM
On 15/05/2013 james wrote:
>meh Glenreagh.... Castlereagh.... same same, neither are on the coast.

You are obviously GPS-challenged as they are differnt locations.

There are 11 messages in this topic.

 

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