As in previous years, our three volunteer working weekends have been completed under the expert guidance of Sally Seddon, the RIA Volunteer Co-ordinator, assisted by recently appointed Environmental Field Technician, Sarah Nix.
Some of the fifty volunteers at each of the weekends 2-3 July and 13-14 August planted thousands of seedlings of melaleuca, callitris and acacia, each one tree guarded, in the woodland area at Parker Point near the newly constructed toilet facilities while the remainder of the group carried out a range of tasks in an attempt to arrest the spread of the Parker Point dune blow out. These included laying and pegging rolls of jute matting and planting dune seedlings with guards in holes cut in the
matting; erecting shade cloth fencing to provide a barrier to blowing sands; and covering selected fenced areas with brush to protect scattered seed. These are all attempts to determine what might be the most effective method of halting the encroaching sand.
The tasks were completed in spite of this winter’s more extensive wind and rain and it is hoped that a high success rate will be achieved with the planting.
On 17-18 September a disappointingly smaller group of 38 volunteers undertook to target the invasive weed, sea spurge (euphorbia paralias), a task undertaken by the Society for several years. With regular attention large outbreaks of the weed have been prevented.
On the Saturday, seven groups of volunteers were dispersed around the bays (where the sea spurge germinates each spring) to collect and bag the weed. The groups only managed to fill ten bags of weed around the entire island – but some FIFTY bags of marine litter were collected. These included ropes, floats, plastic buckets and bottles and so much more!
During the night a storm broke and Sunday’s activities – replacing plastic tree guards with open mesh guards around plants at Kingstown – had to be abandoned and the group returned to Fremantle on whatever ferry made the crossing.
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