Suffolk Dunecare Group Profile

The Suffolk Park Dunecare Group works on the southern side of Cape Byron at Tallow Beach caring for 12 h of dunes and littoral rainforest. Dune work began a generation ago when it was realized South African Bitou Bush introduced to dunes in past sand mining operations, was over-running native plant communities.The first dune carers were  adjacent property owners  clearing Bitou Bush , planting on the dunes in front of their properties occasionally joining forces with neighbors.

By 1989 there were 3 small registered groups engaging  residents of wider Suffolk Park , including a group running out of the caravan park at the south end of the beach. Bitou Bush was cleared by hand, native trees planted  and protective fencing introduced to the beach for the first time. Byron council provided water connection into the dunes, plants ans other material supports. Help from the federal government was provided by Work for the Dole and Green Corps teams clearing and planting. Much was achieved over 10 years.

By 2004 with 50% of the dunes free of  Bitou Bush, dunecare had lost  volunteer momentum. With official encouragement in respect of what had been achieved and in a climate of material support, a new group was launched. In the same year littoral rainforest was declared Threatened and Endangered, dune restoration plans were adopted and resources from all tiers of government became accessible. The new group continued to utilize labour market teams but increasingly weed contractors were engaged to systematically control Bitou Bush with herbicide. In 2006 mobile power sprayers were successfully, if controversially, used to eradicate remaining stands of Bitou Bush on the fore-dunes. be completed

Download group KML