Pope's Glen Bushcare
Creating a Bushland Icon
Pope's Glen Bushland Reserve is a strip of bush along Pope's Glen Creek, reaching from the National Park to the edge of Blackheath village. The Pope's Glen Bushcare Group formed in 1992 and was one of the first groups established under the umbrella of Blue Mountains City Council's Bushcare Network. Under this network, Council encourages volunteer community groups to take on a 'custodial' role over local areas of bushland and supports the groups to carry out ongoing programs to habilitate and maintain them.
The Bushcare Group has worked one morning a month (excluding December) each year, for over 15 years, logging up about 6,500 person hours of work in removing weeds and planting plants grown from seeds collected in the area. Pope's Glen is now an icon of Blue Mountains bushland!
Restoring a willow plume
Three years ago, the group began a big and very ambitious project. With funding from the Environmental Trust, the group set its sights on restoring a one-hectare silt bed which was heavily infested with large willow trees (Salix fragilis). Before the group began work, the muddy silt flat under the willows was totally devoid of wildlife and native plants – a dark and sterile wasteland. In the last three years, the group has (with invaluable support from the Council) removed 80% of the willow trees and planted over 5,000 plants (2,620 in 2007-2008). As shown in the accompanying photographs, the results have been nothing short of spectacular!
The wildlife returns
Responding to the new, hospitable environment being created, the group has seen yellow robins, superb wrens, eastern spine bills, white-throated tree creepers, satin bower birds, maned ducks, Pacific black ducks and a tawny frog mouth among our plantings. On summer evenings, several species of frogs (Crinia signifera, Limnodynastes dumerilii, Lim. peronii, Litoria peronii, Lit. verreauxii) can now be heard calling from the work area.
Pope's Glen Creek runs through the National Park, eventually joining the Grose River. As a member of Streamwatch, Pope's Glen Bushcare Group regularly carries out tests to monitor the effect of the revegetation program on the health of the steam. They have found that significant amounts of pollution are removed from the water when it percolates across the areas planted with sedges and ferns. This has led to the concept of the revegetated silt bed eventually becoming a wetland, assisting in the purification of the creek before it flows into the National Park.
The Pope's Glen Bushcare Group is well on its way to realising its long-term vision of converting the silt flat and willow infestation into an intermittently-flooded wetland, populated by native ferns, sedges and bushes, and inhabited by a diversity of frogs, birds and insects.
Coordinator: Alan Lane
PO Box 388, Blackheath 2785
Phone: 4787 7097
This item was posted in November 2008.