Sunday June 19, a mild sunny winter’s day, saw the running of the Tom Covell Nature Safari at Nangarin. Postponed from 2021 due to Covid restrictions, the event organised and funded by Greater Sydney Land Services provided a wonderful opportunity for local residents to gain an informed insight into the unique and diverse ecology of bushland within the Nangarin Estate.
Naturalist and Ecologist Tom Covell from ‘Hooked on Nature’ guided participants along a path travelling through open grasslands to narrow tracks along Stonequarry Creek, observing with his keen eye the range of flora and fauna listed below. Due to the high level of interest from residents, the activities were divided into two 2-hour sessions, with each session accommodating 18 residents.
A sausage sizzle lunch, provided by the Nangarin Landcare team, and the opportunity to chat with other residents rounded out a great day, as feedback from one family states: “We absolutely loved yesterday’s session. We learned a lot and feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. We took away quite a bit from the session. “
The Nangarin Community is appreciative of the efforts of Tom Covell and Angela Maier, Greater Sydney Local Land Services, for providing this unique opportunity to enhance our understanding of our local environment
Here is a list of some of things seen, heard or talked about on the day and links to further information and resources:
- Some of the animals/critters we saw or heard:
- Glossy black cockatoo – listed as a vulnerable species in NSW – read more about them & get involved in the Great Glossy Count HERE – they feed on the seeds of Casuarina trees
- Brown goshawk
- Swamp wallaby
- Golden orb weaving spiders
- Weebill – small birds high in the canopy
- Common eastern froglet – Download the FrogID app and report frog calls
- Bell miner bird – which feed on psyllids
- Centipedes and Earthworms
- Native plants:
- We saw a lot of Grey Gums (Eucalyptus punctata – also known as Salmon Gums) – which are koala food trees
- Check out this Koala food trees fact sheet from Wollondilly Council
- Native cherry tree
- Native mistletoe – read about how they are important habitat trees for critically endangered species like the Regent Honeyeater HERE and about the Mistoetoe bird
- Parramatta Green Wattle (Acacia parramattensis)
- Various forms of Fungi
- We saw a lot of Grey Gums (Eucalyptus punctata – also known as Salmon Gums) – which are koala food trees
- Animals/critters that are likely to live in the area:
Other websites that may be of interest:
- Cumberland Plain Woodland is a critically endangered ecological community – read more about the Cumberland Plain Restoration program that Greater Sydney Landcare is running HERE
- Wollondilly Council’s Community Nursery at Wonga Rd, Picton has a range of native plants. Local residents are entitled to 20 free plants per year.
- Habitat hollows – learn about the importance of retaining tree hollows HERE, or report a wildlife using a hollow HERE
- Feralscan – report sightings of pest animals such as foxes, deer and rabbits HERE
- Subscribe to the Greater Sydney Landcare and Community news HERE to stay up-to-date with events, citizen science opportunities and other great information.
- Some of the animals/critters we saw or heard:
A number of seriously problematic weed types are evident within the Nangarin Estate, both on private and Community lands. Their ability to spread rapidly and distribute widely, due to their effective seed dispersal capabilities, are major reasons why residents need to act quickly to effectively eradicate these environmentally damaging weeds. Many of the weeds are toxic and suitable protective clothing and accessories should be used during treatment.
Below are links to pdf information sheets for the major weed types that may assist residents in both identifying and treating invasive weeds:
This report covers a site visit at the Nangarin Landcare site in the Southwest of Sydney near Picton. The Landcare sites are in and around Nangarin Vineyard Estate. The estate is accessed off Barkers Lodge Road and bounded by Long Gully hydroline to the north and Stone Quarry Creek to the east and south.
The woodland onsite is a mix of Cumberland Plain Woodland (CPW), Shale Sandstone Transition Forest (SSTF) and Riparian Woodland. There is a wide variety of native flora species in the Estate’s remnant bushland and the volunteers have done a great job of improving their local landscape. Each area has varying degrees of woody and annual weeds but also an array of insect and bird life.
Full Report: CPR Report Nangarin Flora visit 22-1-22
Two years have passed since Nangarin, like so many communities in the area, benefited from the dedicated work the Rural Fire Service and Fire & Rescue undertook in defending communities along the fire front of the Green Wattle Creek bushfire. Today, the shower of burning embers and smoke of that event has been replaced by a consistent summer rainfall pattern from effects of La Niña. While current conditions are a welcome reprieve from a major bushfire threat, Continue reading Fire Ready
Nangarin Landcare is one of six local Landcare Groups participating in a ‘Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grant’ managed by Lisa Gibson from Upper Spring Creek Landcare.
Working closely with the Robin Davies Wollondilly Community Nursery, two seed collection workshops were planned, one in mid-November and the second in early December 2021 to harvest seed from endemic flora of the local area.
The first of the ‘Seed Collection Workshops’ took place at Nangarin Vineyard Estate on Wednesday 17th November. Led by Damion Stirling, Sustainability Projects Officer with Wollondilly Shire Council, eighteen participants from the six Landcare Groups worked their way through two woodland sites to harvest ripe seed from a range of endemic plants, while learning flora identification techniques and the importance of particular plant species to the local ecological balance. Seed collected on the day was set aside for a propagation workshop to be conducted mid-December. Continue reading Seeding the future
Nangarin team at work near Picton.
Landcare and bushcare volunteers in the Macarthur region have continued to rally for the local environment despite the challenges brought on by Covid-19.
A Greater Sydney Local Land Services [GS LLS] survey has found volunteer groups contributed more than 2,811 hours of environmental service in the 2019/20 financial year.
Regional Landcare coordinator Madeleine Florin says the work equated to around $117,275 worth of conservation efforts to protect and restore the area’s natural environment.
“The Macarthur area is home to 15 groups comprising more than 240 regular and casual volunteers carrying out activities including bush regeneration, tree planting, community education and advocacy work,” she said.
Local groups include Barragal and Nangarin Landcare.
“The Nangarin group are based in Picton and are currently working to restore a Cumberland Plain nature corridor on the Nangarin Vineyard Estate,’’ Ms Florin said.
“Barragal continue to work to support our Menangle fox control campaign aimed at reducing fox numbers in the area.”
Above: tree planting in Menangle
Across Greater Sydney 1,000 groups engaged in bushcare or landcare activities, with 8,850 regular volunteers and 4,700 one-off volunteers, contributing more than 150,000 hours of environmental work.
“This equates to an incredible $6.3 million in in-kind labour costs which is a truly remarkable achievement given the lockdown and impact of Covid-19 in 2020 which we estimate reduced the total number of volunteer work by about 50,000,” Ms Florin said.
“Overall, the number of active volunteers increased by 13 percent compared to the last survey in 2017/18 and there was a 20 per cent increase in hours contributed.”
Ms Florin said landcare and bushcare volunteers were integral to the protection and maintenance of our unique natural environment.
“They are very much the unsung heroes of our natural environment, working quietly behind the scenes purely for the love and passion for what they do.’’
GS LLS provided $220,814 to landcare and bushcare groups, supporting them to continue work restoring and maintaining environmental assets.
Funding was provided to the groups via the NSW Landcare Program, the NSW Environment Trust Every Bit Counts Program, Catchment Action NSW and the National Landcare Program.
Thursday, 20 May, 2021 in South West Voice News
Phase 1 Completion
Lantana infestation – February 2021
Site following treatment – April 2021
Cumberland Plain Woodland Restoration Stage 2 project formally commenced in November with photographing reference sites and seeking a ‘request for fee proposal’ from three accredited members of the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators. Following extensive evaluation of the three very detailed RFP responses, Ecohort P/L was awarded the Contractor section of the project site work.
Ecohort’s team commenced Stage 1 site work on February 7, 2021. The 0.1 ha site of dense lantana thickets on steep terrain, located on the eastern zone of the Nangarin Nature Corridor, required 102 contractor hours to meet the requirements of the primary treatment phase. This phase was completed on March 26. Follow up treatment is anticipated due to the extensive lantana root systems. A Quadrat reference site was established and documented on April 30, with the support of GSLLS, to track the success of site regeneration efforts and weed control.
Nangarin Landcare continued their work on the central zone of the nature corridor, an area identified as Stage 1 Landcare, targeting lantana, privet and moth vine. Heavy summer rainfall increased the weed problem in some areas and additional effort is being made to manage the expanded scope generated by this issue. A checkerboard pattern of lantana treatment has been implemented along fringe areas. This is to maintain habitat for the large number of small birds present and thereby minimise the impact of sudden habitat loss.
Since September the Landcare team have provided ‘in-kind’ project support comprising 268 hours weed control, 51 hours on-site support to high school students and 26 hours follow up watering and maintenance of new plantings. Nangarin Landcare actively worked to engage with and promote project activities to residents and school students in the lead up to and during Stage 1 of the project.
Two street signs were erected close to the major sites outlining the project work and funding support; additionally, three activity reports were provided to Nangarin residents in November, February and April. A Facebook site was used to promote activities and the Nangarin.com.au website contains information about the Landcare Group and project.
Students from Wollondilly Anglican College participated in five on-site workshops between September and November to gain an understanding of the unique CPW ecosystem and assist with revegetation of a steep slope. Sessions were hands-on involving students in weed recognition, site mapping and planting a mix of endemic CPW species to minimise erosion. Wollondilly Shire Council (WSC) staff from the Environmental Outcomes team provided onsite information, tube stock from the Community Nursery and guidance to students on planting techniques, assisted by members of the Landcare team.
A WSC Environmental Project Officer conducted an information session, for Nangarin residents immediately following the Annual General Meeting, on the unique fauna and flora of the CPW ecosystem and stories from the first nation inhabitants of the area. A detailed briefing session followed for members of the Landcare team.
At the end date of Stage 1 the project is tracking on budget and on time.
The Landcare Group wrapped up 2020 with two activities:
Following the November AGM, Damion Stirling from Wollondilly Shire Council delivered a general information session for Nangarin residents, providing valuable insights into Nangarin Estate’s unique
environment and history of the area. Damion spoke about fauna and flora, stories from first nation inhabitants and the importance of Cumberland Plain Woodland to the survival of many species.
After a light lunch, members of the Nangarin Landcare team spent time with Damion in the nature corridor identifying native plant species and opportunistic weeds. We are grateful to Damion and WSC
for their ongoing practical support of our endeavours to manage this important ecosystem.
Damion Stirling speaking with 18 residents after AGM
Landcare members briefed by Damion on flora identification.
Last Landcare session for the year was on Saturday 5th December, attended by 12 residents. The team marked the end of another successful year with an evening celebration dinner at George IV. By year’s end the team had notched up a total of 1099 worksite hours since the formation of the group in 2016
– a great effort, great team and wonderful community spirit.
NSW Environmental Trust Grant
Final paperwork and initial ET Grant allocation was completed by 25th November 2020. ‘Requests for a Fee Proposal’ were sent to three specialist Environmental Restoration Contractors on 22nd November.
All three responded with very detailed proposals and references. Four members of our Landcare team reviewed the proposals and after lengthy discussion, coupled with further questions to the responders, selected Ecohort P/L to undertake the work. Ecohort had been previously engaged at Nangarin in 2004 by Bradcorp to do a similar activity and their Project Manager for this project was a
member of that original work team back in 2004!
Nangarin Landcare is required to provide a Stage 1 completion report to the NSW Environmental Trust in April 2021. Successful completion of Stage 1 work will then facilitate the release of Stage 2 funding. A final detailed report to ET is required in December 2022 with appropriate material to demonstrate the success of the project.
Our Landcare team will continue to work the western section of the nature corridor, which is slated for completion in December 2022. Ecohort’s team will initially target the dense lantana patch on the steep upper slope of the eastern section of the nature corridor, then after April move to the amphitheatre slope near the turning circle, at the northern end of The Grange (see the following aerial view/markup).
Ecohort commenced site work on the 4th February and were briefed by members of the Nangarin Landcare team as to site access and facilities. We appreciated the support of residents adjoining the worksites for assisting with access and parking. The initial session enabled the Site Supervisor and Project Manager to undertake a detailed site assessment and determine the most efficient and effective techniques to use to ensure effective long-term treatment and regeneration of native understock. Ecohort’s team size will normally be 6 or 7 trained staff.
Welcome to Ecohort’s team: Declan, Mike (Site Supervisor), Alex (Project Manager), Jessica, (Glenn – Nangarin Landcare) An important aspect of the project is sharing information with our residents and where practical providing opportunities to engage with the various project activities; a great opportunity for High
School students seeking to do an environmental project/assignment . Along with the Landcare reports to the Nangarin Executive which are distributed with the EC Minutes, project information, updates and events will be publicised in ‘letterbox drop’ flyers, updates to the Nangarin website and ‘Nangarin Facebook for Residents’. Your feedback at any time is most welcome.
Additionally, street signage (sample below) will be placed close to worksites to keep both residents and visitors informed.
Landcare Working Bee tentative dates for 2021:
- Saturday March 6th
- Saturday March 27th
- Saturday May 1st
- Saturday May 29th
- Saturday June 26th
- Saturday July 3rd
- Saturday August 7th
- Saturday September 4th
- Saturday October 2nd
- Saturday November 6th
- Saturday December 4th & end of year celebration.
All residents are most welcome to join our friendly group on any or all of the working bee dates. Tools, advice and morning tea provided. Session times are 9:00 – noon. Nangarin Facebook provides regular updates on activities and meeting points.
Finally, a special thank you to Wollondilly Anglican College and students for the planting work, to retain soils on the steep slopes. This work was undertaken last year as part of the students Community outreach programme. Pleasingly, the plants have survived well over the summer, due in no small way to the efforts of a number of our Landcare team who routinely watered the tube stock until well established.
Prepared by Reg Collins
Despite Covid19 and associated restrictions on gatherings, our team of residents have achieved a great deal in progressing the effective management and reduction of invasive lantana, African Olive and Moth Vine. Our focus continues to be the 6.1 hectare eastwest nature corridor of critically endangered, remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland (CPW).