Following last month's successful working bee at South Smokey Beach, South West Rocks Community Dune Care volunteers are planning to weed public bushland again on Sunday, October 25 on the Back Beach dunes.
At the September 'bitou bash' at South Smoky Beach, 33 people worked in small groups plucking seedlings of bitou bush from among the recovering native plants on the beach dunes. They volunteered 105 hours of bush regeneration over a huge area of 6.3 hectares.
"Given the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, we can only invite our experienced volunteers as we can't train new volunteers with appropriate social distance," South West Rocks Community Dune Care secretary Alan Hill said.
"And we can't offer our usual home-baked morning tea and barbecue lunch. Instead volunteers will need to bring their own morning tea and we'll stop work at 12 noon. We'll contact our volunteers directly via text and email with all the arrangements."
This month one of the worst invasive weeds that the volunteer group has to tackle is showing its red flowers and green and black berries. Ochna - also known as Mickey Mouse Plant - spreads prolifically from the berries and crowds out local native plants in public bushland.
The community group implores local residents to remove this plant from their gardens, if they have any.
"Birds eat the berries from the ochna in people's gardens, and even if they only fly one or two hundred metres, it gets into the bush and keeps spreading. We have to spend a lot of time getting it out of the natural environment," Alan said.
On October 25, some volunteers will be bagging the red and black ochna seed heads to stop the birds eating and spreading them further. Other volunteers will tackle bitou bush, lantana, senna and coastal morning glory.
South West Rocks Community Dune Care existing volunteers are asked to meet at 8.45am on Sunday October 25 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.