This Bushcare Site is in the Reserve on the Corinda side of Oxley Creek at the eastern end of Cliveden Avenue. The Reserve is a special place; indeed, the whole of Cliveden Pocket carries special significance with its remnant bushland which gives the echo and hint of the character of Oxley Creek before colonisation, as it curves around the land now occupied by the Corinda Pony Club.
In early colonial times, there is a report from a local family of watching Aboriginal dancing on what is probably now site of the Pony Club. A local historian, Ralph Fones, has stated that the first owner in colonial days didn’t clear all the bushland, but left it along the creek “so that people would know what it used to look like”.
So the chance to work on restoration here feels like a privilege. We are fortunate that the reaches of Oxley Creek up and downstream from the Reserve still have enough remnant vegetation on both banks to encourage us to work with natural regeneration.
- The areas has a core of interesting remnant plant communities
· mangroves and associated plant species
· riparian rainforest and vine forest species among which is one specimen of Gossia gonoclada, which is classed as endangered
· Eucalyptus tereticornis/Casuarina glauca/Melaleuca bracteata association
· Eucalyptus tereticornis grassy woodland
The bushcare group started work in 1995. The initial action was to control the heavy invasions of Catsclaw creeper, Broad-leaved pepper tree and Climbing asparagus. These major weeds are being treated and their presence is much reduced, along with other weeds such as Coastal morning glory, Glycine, and Green panic grass.
We are careful not to clear the weedy grasses too quickly as they can still provide protection for soil, and habitat for creatures, such as Brown quail, Fairy wrens, skinks, spiders and insects.
We are working to protect and restore these plant communities by reducing the presence of weeds, so that the bushland can regenerate, by using its ability to repair itself, and thus build its own local character.
We search for the native ground covers, weeding around them and leaving them to increase. It feels like a treasure hunt to discover what species occupy different areas. When you go for a walk through there, there is a refreshing feeling to the area that comes with a wild place, a natural place. These are core values we want to maintain.
One description of what we are doing is to say we are searching for the resilience in Nature – which over time has supported recovery from countless disasters during the Earth’s evolution. But what we also are doing is finding our own resilience!
This area suffered from a long drought in the early 2000’s, the huge flood of 2011, and a super-cell storm in late 2014 which created havoc. We have had to understand that our custodianship includes having to return and face these challenges.
Our aim is to maintain ecological integrity and local character of the remnant bushland, and to protect the values of wildness and naturalness. These qualities can then continue to provide inspiration for all who use the area.
If you would like to work with us, (it can be as little or as often as you are able), please ring Carole at 3379 1453 or text 0409 495 017.
Working bees are on the first Saturday of the month, starting 8am in summer, and 8.30 am in winter.