Trad Bash @ Terrys Creek

On Saturday 10 November 2012 Hornsby Bushcare volunteers and neighbours gathered at Lucinda Coates’ Terrys Creek Bushcare site to remove an infestation of Trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) that had spread from a fill pile into the bushland.

The Terrys Creek valley lies at the southern tip of Hornsby Shire. The narrow corridor of bush along thec reek boasts one of the few Endangered Ecological Communities of Blue Gum High Forest in the Shire among its mix of soil and vegetation types, and supports an amazing variety of wildlife. A number of passionate Bushcare groups work along its length, and once in a while one will call for a working bee. This time it was Lucinda. She takes up the story.


“My site was in desperate need of help. For over a year I had not been able to maintain the weeding regime required. During this time Trad (mainly) had re-invaded areas that had been cleared and planted with native grasses and shrubs, right down to the Chain of Ponds that trainer Brendan Gulson and I created a few years ago. I couldn’t believe how much there suddenly was. I enthusiasticallystarted work with my new Bushcare trainer Adam, but realised we needed a helping hand to get rid of the Trad.We needed a working bee.


“My cunning method was to tempt Bushcare volunteers with a light lunch and a yummy afternoon tea, then arm them with weed bags and let them loose on the Trad.


“It worked beautifully. Some turned up early to partake of delicious (if I do say so myself!) salads but there was no lingering; others headed straight down to the site, armed to the teeth with tools, weed bags and attitude.Everyone worked very hard for three hours or so and I was amazed at the results.


“Hornsby Bushcare staff gave me Special Dispensation to bag the Trad– I didn’t want to compost it on site as it would release excess nutrients into the soil. Sonny asked me how manybags I needed. “Is ten too many?” Iasked. Luckily he left me 40. Theteam filled a total of 36 from the site(Sonny collected them all thefollowing Monday)!


“Irene planted native tube-stock into the bare patches: mainly small shrubs,sedges and other plants that will build a more suitable habitat for small birds than Trad, and loads of native grasses.I have had good success in the pastwith bird sightings in my Bushcare siteand my garden: Superb Blue Wrens, White-throated Scrub Wrens, a Rose Robin and, most recently, a pair of Eastern Spinebills. It can only get better, with more suitable plants.


“Everyone had a great time. I really recommend, if you have never attended (or organised) a Bushcare working bee before: just do it! It’s great for a temporary change of Bush regeneration routine, you get to meet and work with local and other Bushcare site volunteers, check out different sites and maybe get some extra help at yours at a later stage. Depending on the time of day, there might be on offer some scrummy lunch or delicious morning or afternoon tea. It’s also an excellent social event and the host, of course, gets a huge helping hand for their Bushcare site!“


My heartfelt thanks go to Noel and Rae, Margot, Simon, Irene, Judy,trainer Adam and my next door neighbour Ken (who thinned out some excess giant bamboo grass at my request, for fire preparedness). Also thanks to Sonny, Ross and all the Bushcare team for the plants,afternoon tea, tools and support.”