Bush regeneration in Gordon Falls Reserve, Leura. Currently targeting Montbretia and Blackberry. Meet on the 1st Monday of the month, 9.30am-12noon.

Gordon Falls Reserve is situated south of Leura village. The Reserve forms a large part of the upper catchment for Gordon Creek, which flows south into the Blue Mountains National Park and continues over the escarpment, into the Jamison Valley. Gordon Falls Reserve is significant because of the dedication of a section of Lone Pine Avenue as a memorial to members of the Leura community who contributed to the war effort of 1914-1918.

The Gordon Falls locality contains sensitive vegetation. Blue Mountains hanging swamps, now listed as endangered ecological communities, are found within and adjacent to Gordon Falls Reserve.

These swamps provide habitat for several rare and endangered species, such as the Blue Mountains Water Skink, the Giant Dragonfly and the Smooth Bush Pea (Pultenea glabra).

The activities of Lone Pine Bushcare Group focus on the restoration and protection of these sensitive areas. The reserve is a high profile area, and an important component of tourist activity in the region. Many visitors come to view Gordon Falls or to bushwalk and picnic in the reserve, and local residents use it extensively for recreation. Bushcare is a way of involving people in caring for and managing their local bushland.

The Gundungurra people used this area as an open camp site in summer. The rock shelter in Lyre Bird Dell would have been an integral part of Aboriginal life.

How Weeds Impact Upon Healthy Bushland

To some degree, all healthy natural systems can act as a buffer against disturbance – they have their own in-built level of resilience. However, disturbances such as vegetation clearing, high stormwater flows into watercourses, or fire can cause a shift in the natural balance. When systems are made vulnerable by disturbance, weed invasion often results. Weeds, defined simply as plants out of place, move in to take advantage of the imbalance created within the system.

Once established, weeds compete vigorously with native plants, using up space, light, water and nutrients to displace them. Weeds can thus severely erode the health and vitality of native plant communities.

Weeds are carried into the reserve by birds, wind, stormwater and by deliberate dumping of garden waste. The proximity of Gordon Falls Reserve to residential areas means that many invasive garden plants and environmental weeds move rapidly into healthy bushland.

Bushcare activities target the most aggressive of these weed species, removing weeds from good bushland areas first, so that the system’s natural capacity for healing can do the rest of the work. Weeds such as Blackberry, Japanese Honeysuckle, Montbretia, Bird Cherry and Broom persistently return to threaten the long-term viability of local bushland.

By using bush regeneration principles to encourage the natural capacity of the bush to heal itself, Bushcare volunteers work to maintain the condition of local bushland by managing weed populations.

Keeping bushland healthy is not just about weed removal; it is also about minimising disturbance in good bushland. You can help!

How to Contact Us

If you would like to be involved in Lone Pine Bushcare Group or to find out more about our activities and the reserve where we work, you can contact the Bushcare office on 4780 5623.

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