The Greater Mount Alexandra Reserve Bushcare Project
The Greater Mount Alexandra Reserve is Council’s largest bushland reserve, and is known for its beauty, biodiversity and indigenous and European heritage. It also has some of the most popular walking tracks, including the Box Vale Track. The Greater Mount Alexandra Reserve includes Welby Weir Reserve.
Indigenous people have had a long association with the area. The Moyengully Group worked at this site around a decade ago, working to remove invasive weeds and encourage natural regeneration. Local Aboriginal leaders provided on-the-ground training and cultural knowledge for indigenous bush regenerators. More recently the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council (ILALC) has provided natural resource management and cultural advice in relation to projects occurring within this reserve.
Restoration work has occurred in recent years along the Nattai Creek and Box Vale Track below Welby Weir by the Illawarrra Local Aboriginal Land Council (ILALC) bush regeneration experts. Weeds including Giant Paspalum Grass, Blackberry and Honeysuckle were controlled to assist regeneration of native plants in these areas.
During 2017-2020 a bush regeneration project funded by the NSW Environment Trust, focused on three creeks that flow into the reserve. Gibbergunyah, Chinamans and Iron Mines Creeks flow into the Nattai River, which is part of the Sydney drinking water catchment area. These creeks are important corridors for wildlife and help to connect Gibbergunyah and Mount Gibraltar Heritage Reserves with the Greater Mount Alexandra Reserve.
Improving biodiversity and habitat along these creeks by controlling weed invasion and soil erosion, closing off unauthorised access and preventing new track creation and removal of rubbish were key components of this project.
The Mount Alexandra Reserve Bushcare Group volunteers work along Gibbergunyah Creek and Iron Mines Creek each month to remove weeds and plant native grasses, shrubs and trees where they are needed.
Outcomes to date
- Weed control along the Box Vale Track and Nattai Creek downstream of the Weir.
- Weed control along Gibbergunyah Creek and the adjoining land from the Old Hume Highway culvert downstream to the confluence with Iron Mines Creek.
- Rock bollards and gates installed to restrict access.
- A threatened species, Helichrysum calvertianum was discovered on the site.
- Site monitoring using photo points and flora surveys have shown incredible recovery at the sites.
- Welby Weir Reserve was recently fenced and work to control the highly invasive shrub Gorse has been ongoing for several months.
Consolidation and protection of the Greater Mount Alexandra Reserve will continue. Opportunities for indigenous cultural burning of long-unburnt areas of the reserve will be explored and bush regeneration will continue in at-risk parts of the reserve such as along creeks and the Box Vale Track.
If you would like to get involved and volunteer with Bushcare, check out the Bushcare page.
This work is funded by Your Environment Levy.
All Current Bushcare Projects