Local bitou bush a growing menace

Hawks Nest NSW

Invasive bitou bushes on the dunes at Hawks Nest are now so large they have to be hacked, sawn and removed, requiring a great deal of strength.


Fourteen local Bitou Busters found this out the hard way when they returned to the dunes near the Surf Club to continue clearing what has become one of the major threats to the area’s natural environment.


Bitou bush is destroying native habitats, threatening native plants and animals and choking natural systems, including rivers and forests.


The Bitou Busters on 17 September were all wearing new insect repellent overalls donated earlier this month by Bushcare’s Major Day Out and Safari Life Clothing. The overalls protect against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas and midges.


The volunteers also found weed invasion of asparagus fern and morning glory particularly bad. The-morning-glory was twining around trees and bushes that will eventually crack under the weight and die. Controlling morning glory requires skill, dedication and persistence. The mother-of-millions are hard to eradicate and need constant removal as any part of the weed left on the ground will survive, pushing aside native bush.


Asparagus fern is also difficult to remove, requiring the Bitou Busters to work on their hands and knees tracing the fern until the root is found, before sawing around it to remove the heart.