Weeding blitz at Charles Darwin Reserve

Monday 20 June, 2005

Leigh Whisson and Jackie Courtenay need your help with the weed control program at Charles Darwin Reserve.

Ninety-eight per cent of Charles Darwin Reserve is weed free. Photo Jiri and Marie Lochman/Lochman Transparencies.

Ninety-eight per cent of Charles Darwin Reserve is weed free. Photo Jiri and Marie Lochman/Lochman Transparencies.

Surveys in the spring months of 2003 and 2004 at Charles Darwin Reserve in south-west Western Australia showed that less than 2% of the reserve was affected by weeds. Considering the prolific spread of weeds throughout the country, this was an excellent result.

Why then are we planning a weeding blitz this August?

The weed infestations at Charles Darwin Reserve, which we believed to be stable, have proved not to be. In March 2004 severe weather dumped about 100 mm of rain in a couple of days (Bush Heritage News,Winter 2004).

Floodwaters, carrying topsoil and the seeds of weed species, swept through low-lying areas of the reserve that had previously been free of weeds.

Floodwater carried weed seeds into low-lying areas. Photo Leigh Whisson.

Floodwater carried weed seeds into low-lying areas. Photo Leigh Whisson.

With the moist soil, which allowed the seeds to germinate, and no grazing stock to eat them, the weeds began to flourish. Now we must ‘get’ the weeds before they go any further.

A weeding blitz this coming season can limit any further infestations and help to make Charles Darwin Reserve a weed-free zone.

How you can help

We need all hands on deck in August 2005. Whether you're able to give one day or the whole month, the more support we get, the better the result will be. Volunteers will be involved in a range of activities from weed mapping and monitoring to weed control. For those who don’t feel able to do the weed work, there's plenty of other work to do.

The weeding blitz will be extremely satisfying, as well as a lot of fun. At the end we hope to see Charles Darwin Reserve on the way to being free of weeds. For those who will be on the reserve for extended periods, time will be set aside so that you can explore and enjoy this wonderful environment.

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