THE prolific yellow flowers of the Bitou Bush, the Asparagus weeds (both from South Africa), as well as the distinctive red Mother of Millions succulent (from Madagascar), are all terrible weeds continuously invading our coastal dunes and forests.
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Quick to seed and fast growing, they replace native plants and destroy the habitat of native animals.
Many threatened species and plant communities have been adversely affected.
Back are the Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens Bitou Busters, a group of 20 plus volunteers committed to removing these weeds infesting Jimmys Beach and Hawks Nest.
On Saturday 22 August, they braved the cold and windy conditions along the sand dunes continuing their project to eliminate these weeds, a hard task including sawing, digging out roots and pruning.
The coordinator of the Bitou Busters, Jill Madden, was happy with the progress, stating, “We systematically and carefully remove seeds and roots. Where possible we leave safe and dead weeds to mulch the ground. The Bitou Busters have been committed to improving the natural habitat since 2010 and it has had a positive impact on our coastal environment. The working sessions will continue each month until all the weeds are eradicated.”
New local volunteers, Mia and Mike Thew, were happy with the work stating, “We cut the bitou above the sand level and apply poison onto the stems, so the roots die but hold the sand in place. There are lots of weeds, so the more volunteers the better. It all helps our coastal environment.”
To help restore the native flora and fauna along our beaches, contact the coordinator of the Bitou Busters, Jill Madden: 0418 236 582.
By Sandra MURRAY