While COVID-19 is playing havoc with many activities, the keen volunteers from South West Rocks
Community Dune Care are continuing their enthusiastic war on weeds in public bushland.
Their next monthly 'bitou bash' working bee will be on Sunday 26 th July from 9am to 12pm at Back Creek.
"Given the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, unfortunately we can only invite our existing volunteers," said SWR
Community Dune Care President Ian Burnett. "It's difficult to train new volunteers with appropriate social
distance. And sadly we can't offer our usual fabulous morning tea and BBQ lunch to share. Instead
volunteers will need to bring their own morning tea and we'll stop work at 12noon. We'll contact our
volunteers directly via text and email with all the arrangements."
The lack of catering certainly didn't deter the enthusiastic volunteers at the last working bee on 28 th June at
Back Creek. "We had 32 people (including 7 visiting volunteers) working in several small groups to remove
invasive weeds over 1.6 hectares at Back Beach," said Ian Burnett. "We tackled bitou bush, senna, ochna,
asparagus ferns, lantana and brazilian nightshade. It was great to see the Back Beach area regenerating
really well with lots of young native trees, shrubs and ground covers across the dunes. The coastal banksias
and wattles, in particular, are loving being freed up from the smothering weeds."
The total volunteer hours worked on the day were impressive: 131 hours. For the last week of June, with
gorgeous sunny winter weather, the seven visiting volunteers from Sydney and locals notched up a total of
345 hours worked at sites including Back Creek, South Smoky Beach and the Boyters Lane Bird Hide.
This month also brings energetic visiting volunteers from Newcastle University Student Environment Club
(NUSEC) who will spend a week helping local volunteers from South West Rocks Community Dune Care weed
public bushland. This is the eighth year NUSEC has helped out during their July break. The students have
made a significant contribution to SWR Community Dune Care's efforts in re-establishing a resilient and
diverse ecosystem around South West Rocks.
South West Rocks Community Dune Care has major funding from the NSW Environmental Trust and a great
turnout of keen volunteers. They have achieved award-winning success restoring huge areas of publicly
owned bushland over 16 kilometres of coastline from the mouth of the Macleay River to south of Smoky
Cape lighthouse over more than 25 years. The community group is also supported by National Parks and
Wildlife Service, Kempsey Shire Council and Local Land Services North Coast.
SWR Community Dune care existing volunteers are asked to meet at 8.45am on Sunday 26 th July at the
footbridge at Back Creek, off Buchanan Drive South West Rocks.
For more information please see Facebook SWRcommunitydunecare, or phone Alan Hill on 0419 012 640.