Caring for our bush (Bushcare)

Bowen Mountain is a special place with a range of landscapes and vegetation communities just at our backyards. Many of us were introduced to the trails through picking up the little booklet Bowen Mountain Bushwalks created by Rick Jamieson and others in 1994. Since Rick passed away in 2013, it has been the intention of some of us to extend the benefits of the book via photos and more information, so that his knowledge lives on. These trails and surrounding bushland were closely documented by a team including teacher Rick Miller who drew the maps, John Leahy who wrote up the walks, botanist Teresa James who described the plants and their environments; and teacher and birdwatcher Trevor Nixon who provided the bird lists. Illustrations were provided by Alan James (Teresa’s father).

The information on this Bushcare section will include notes on the plants and fauna, seasonal details including bird movements, and some information useful to those who are concerned to keep weeds out of the bush and out of their gardens.

The community of this place are increasingly concerned to keep our wildlife safe. Even in November this year a koala was photographed wandering in backyards, and concerns were immediate about threats from dogs and cats. The same issues of safety arise for our local birds, reptiles and other mammals as the population changes and grow. Our impacts on native animals and their environment can be less obvious though. Dumped rubbish, increased nutrients through sewage, weed growth, heavy trail bike usage and excessive runoff can all affect the environments of small creatures or their habitats. Examples can be seen of dying eucalypts, erosion and exotic weeds across natural water courses within a few metres of the backyards. Despite past efforts and the arrangement of a supervised team through Hawkesbury Council, efforts of a few were never enough to maintain a weed free bushland. It is important to protect these areas as part of our natural heritage and for their contribution to local, regional, national and global biodiversity and conservation. Your interest in our bush can be enhanced by joining experts on guided walks as part of this project.

See more details in the summer edition, or contact Robin Woods on 0414 672 014 for further information.

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