LOCAL Bitou Buster volunteers celebrated the end of another season’s work with a barbecue.
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The group worked the morning on the dunes and bush off Sanderling Road, Hawks Nest, removing asparagus weed and bitou bush.
Both are major threats to NSW coastal ecosystems.
Bitou bush is from South Africa and was planted to stabilise dunes along the NSW coast between 1946 and 1968. It spread rapidly invading native habitat coastal heathlands, grasslands, woodlands and forests, smothering areas and destroying the habitat for native animals.
Asparagus was introduced to Australia as an ornamental plant, but it grows fast and thick covering the ground and preventing germination of native plants.
The Bitou Busters work monthly in several areas around Hawks Nest during the cooler months from March to October, and their end-of-season barbecue was held as usual at the home of the group’s coordinator Jill Madden and husband Peter Madden.
Jill thanked the more than 30 people – the volunteers and their partners – for their hard work in keeping the bitou bush and asparagus fern at bay. She also encouraged the group to visit the areas of work over the summer season to appreciate their work.
The Bitou Busters will be back on the job in March next year to continue the seemingly endless work of clearing noxious weeds from the local area.
By Adrienne INGRAM