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Mt Gibraltar Quarries Restoration Project

Mt Gibraltar Quarries Restoration Project

Heritage Quarries Weed Control

During 2012-2017 the Heritage Quarries area of Mount Gibraltar Heritage Reserve had bush regeneration work completed, through grants from the NSW Environmental Trust, South East Local Land Services, WaterNSW, and Council's Environment Levy.

Volunteers from Mt Gibraltar Landcare Bushcare Group also contributed to the project. 

Final Reports detailing the project activities and outcomes can be downloaded in PDF format from the links below. The Final Report to the NSW Environmental Trust (2014-2017) describes work in some of the most difficult sites in the Heritage Quarries Complex.

Quarry Faces

The most challenging areas - the area immediately above the quarry cliff faces (Area 3A) and the cliff faces (Area 3B) – was awarded to specialist rope access bush regeneration contractors, The Good Bush People, who are highly experienced with dangerous and challenging sites. Their task was to control the weeds growing on the edge of the cliff face and on the benches and in crevices across the almost sheer quarry faces, while suspended from ropes. Work commenced in March 2015 and concluded in January 2016 and some additional work was completed in 2017.

Detailed mapping of the weed infestations on the cliff faces using a binocular-based survey technique was undertaken by Council to guide the initial tender process.

Maps of Weed Management Units

pdfMap of Weeds Along Cliff Face (PDF 770 Kb).

Mt Gibraltar Quarries Map

Quarry 'Scree' Slopes

Though not as dangerous as the cliff faces themselves, the areas of loose rubble ‘scree’ slopes below the cliff faces are also hazardous and challenging with many significant risks. Weed control on these slopes (areas 3D, 3E, 3F, 3G, 3H & 3J) was awarded to a second specialist rope access bush regeneration contractor, Total Earth Care.

pdfMap of Area 3 (PDF 1.5 Mb)

Total Earth Care commenced work at the site in January 2015 targeting woody weeds, scramblers and climbers (predominately English Ivy) and herbaceous weeds, completing their contract in February 2016.

PDFTotal Earth Care Final Report Mt Gibraltar B3858

Lower Slopes

A third specialist rope access contractor, Toolijooa Environmental Restoration, was contracted to work on other loose gravel slopes undertaking both primary weed control and secondary (follow-up) weed control. Toolijooa is not new to the Mt Gibraltar site having undertaken contracts on adjacent loose gravel slopes over the previous two years. Toolijooa commenced work in February 2015, supported by a grant from South East Local Land Services. See SELLS project area map (PDF 930Kb). Note that area 4-2 on the map was not included in this contract.

pdfToolijooa Final Report HN9935 (PDF, 4.7 Mb)

Sites Above the Water Reservoir 

In partnership with Mt Gibraltar Landcare Bushcare Group, Council was successful in gaining grants from WaterNSW and South East Local Land Services (SELLS) to continue the weed control works on the steep unstable slopes above the water reservoir (areas 4-2 & 4-3) during the 2015-16 financial year. 

WaterNSW (as SCA) previously funded environmental weed control work at the northern end of the Heritage Quarries Complex, adjacent to the heritage stone stairs.  Mt Gibraltar is the head of the catchment of both Mittagong Creek, which flows into Wingecarribee River and the Nepean River, both of which feed into Sydney's water supply. 

The contract for the specialist rope access bush regeneration works in areas 4-2 & 4-3 was awarded to Toolijooa Environmental Restoration, with works commencing in December 2015 and completed in May 2016.

 PDF Toolijooa Final Report 2015-16 (PDF 2.71 Mb)

PDF CPIG 161 Before & After Photos (PDF 2.32 Mb)

Bushcare Volunteers

The volunteers from Mt Gibraltar Landcare Bushcare Group have been working on the flatter, safer, more accessible sites adjacent to the walking tracks. Every Thursday morning this intrepid team of volunteers, some with a 25-year track record, gather to pull weeds within weed management units (WMUs). 

Further details below:

linkWingecarribee Bushcare Program

Council & Community Working Together

The task of protecting the very special Mt Gibraltar Forest has many components:

  • The fire trails and Asset Protection Zones need to be monitored and maintained;
  • hazard reduction burns scheduled, undertaken and assessed (information on this can be accessed from the About Mount Gibraltar Reserve link below); 
  • lookouts, walking tracks, interpretative signage, roads, parking areas and other facilities maintained and upgraded, etc. 

A great deal is being achieved through Council and the community working together to protect and enhance this wonderful community asset. 

More About Mt Gibraltar Reserve

Additional information about Mt Gibraltar Reserve and its heritage values, including a map of walking tracks can be found at the link below. 

A PDF copy of the award-winning coffee table book 'The Gib' is also available for download at this link

  link About Mount Gibraltar Reserve 

Last Updated: September 27th, 2019
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