#66 December 2016: Landcare in Early Settlement

Landcare in Early Settlement:

Landcare in Early Settlement:

Last month this article covered how the aboriginal people lived in this area before European settlement. How did the first Europeans fare when they moved into the Illawarra bush? The first to reside were the cedar cutters. It is not known exactly when they came to the area but by 1820 they were well established. The Reverend Coles Child in 1850 remembers them in the Richmond River District of 1825. They “were a race apart .. a ghost like band. Hard work and poor diet reduced their bodies to bone and muscle. .. Piercing eyes behind bearded faces. Like pigmies, they toiled among the giant trees – eighty feet or more”. Their interaction with the natives was not parsimonious. The story of Broger the half brother of Broughton the aboriginal who assisted Berry when he came here, typifies the clash of cultures that occurred. Broger killed the cutter who sexually assaulted his wife. He was captured and hung. Following the cedar cutters were the pastoralists on their land grants, given to them on the understanding that they would improve (clear) the land or lose it. To understand more go to Don Watson’s “The Single Tree, Voices from the Bush”.

Early Settlement                                    Giant Stinging Tree                        Giant Devils Fig

Native and Weed of Month:

Giant Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide excelca) is unmistakeable in the rainforest, with its large leaves (up to 300mm wide), whitish bark and stinging hairs on every part including dropped leaves. This common rainforest Native grows to over 15 metres. The sting delivered is extremely painful and lasts for weeks. Anyone who bushwalks must be aware of this dangerous native plant.

Giant Devils Fig Solanum chrysotrichum. An upright and spreading shrub or small tree with prickly stems and leaves. Its younger stems and leaves are densely covered in star-shaped hairs. Its very large leaves (9-35 cm long and 5.5-30 cm wide) are usually deeply lobed. Its white star-shaped flowers (3-4.5 cm across) are borne in large branched clusters. Its globular fruit (10-15 mm across) turn yellow as they mature. This weed has recently been found locally.

Working Bees for December 2016:

Alexandra Street Parkcare: 9-11 am Friday 16th December: Gail Paton 44487915.

Bong Bong Road: 9-11am Sunday  11th December: Julia Woinarski 4464 2084.

Bundewallah Bushcare: To be advised: John Clark 44643911.

Camp Quality: 9-11am Sunday 18th December: Hugh Sheil, hugh.sheil@realtimecom.com.au or Jeanne Highland 4464 1271.

Moeyan Hill: 3-5 pm Saturday 17th December: Bill Pigott 44643241 or wpigott@bigpond.net.au.

Mount Coolangatta: Nola Barker. Mobile 040944-6418, nolajbarker@live.com.au. Time to be advised. Meet at end of Roxbrough Rd, Far Meadow.

Mark Radium Parkcare: 9-10am Friday 23th December: Rodney Cole 4464 1475.

Princess St. Parkcare: 9-11am Monday 23rd January (No workday in December), Terry Oades 4464.3654.

Tindalls Lane: Time to be advised , contact Jim Jefferis 4464 2988.


Visit our pages at: .landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/berry-landcare for more on Berry Landcare and late changes to working bee details. Information can also be found on Facebook.