Bitou Bash, Back Beach, SWR

Regular monthly working bee, held on 4th Sunday each month
  • When 25 Sep, 2016 from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM (Australia/Sydney / UTC1008)
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The transformation of the Back Beach dunes from a weed infested wasteland to a stunning stretch of native bush continues this Spring. Thanks to South West Rocks Community Dune Care’s enthusiastic team of volunteers, and a very strategic approach to spending NSW Environmental Trust grants on professional bush regeneration contractors, the littoral rainforest is gradually being restored.

Volunteers are invited to join the next working bee on Sunday 25th September at Back Beach between 9am and 1pm. A delicious morning tea and BBQ lunch are provided.

“It’s a great feeling when you remove the invasive bitou bush and free up small native trees that had been smothered by it,” said SWR Community Dune Care’s president Ian Burnett. “It’s amazing how resilient the natives are. They out-compete the weeds pretty quickly with lots of diverse plants when we give them a helping hand.”

At the group’s last working bee in August, 22 volunteers contributed 93 hours weeding large bitou bushes over about one hectare of dunes at South Smoky Beach. This was strategic ‘halo’ weeding by hand around native trees, where the contractors didn’t want to spray herbicide too close to natives.

August was also a successful month with SWR Community Dune Care hosting seven Visiting Volunteers from Sydney and Grafton. Together with local volunteers, they contributed more than 150 hours weeding over 11 hectares at Back Beach, Front Beach, and South Smoky Beach. The visitors get free accommodation at Arakoon House, and local agents Raine & Horne kindly waive their management fee as a contribution to the volunteer group.

On Sunday 25th September SWR Dune Care will be returning to a lovely patch of open bushland, about a 15 minute stroll along the sandy path west of the Back Creek footbridge. The group last worked there in July with 27 volunteers tackling bitou bush, lantana, ochna, senna and asparagus fern. The plan is to follow up by plucking any new weed seedlings, and (for those feeling more energetic) tackle some of the larger bitou bushes at the edges of the patch.

SWR Community Dune Care like to encourage first-timers, visitors and locals who may want to try their hand at bush care. “Even if you can only come for an hour or two, it all helps,” said Ian. “You don’t need any experience – just enthusiasm – as training is provided. We’re a pretty welcoming bunch of people and we don’t badger people to turn up every time. Some only come once or twice a year, and that’s fine.”

Volunteers need to wear enclosed shoes or boots (not sandals), long pants, long sleeves, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat and take water. Gloves, tools and training will be provided.

Volunteers are asked to meet at the footbridge at Back Creek off Buchanan Drive South West Rocks at 9am sharp. If you’re late, you can contact #Jane on 0417 969 723 to meet up with the group.

For more information please see:, or contact #Caroline on 0407 703 609, or email on