What we're doing
We've put an end to damaging practices such as firewood collection, tree felling and the operation of a gravel pit. We're monitoring the progress of revegetation at the old gravel pit, and may trial other techniques to reach a greater diversity of species.
Access onto the reserve is discouraged to protect it from invasion by the plant-killing disease Phytophthora cinnamomi and keeping out Gorse (one of Australia's worst weeds) is vital if we're to protect the native South Esk pines from fire.
Past disturbances mean the reserve has been left wide open to gorse infestation. Gorse seeds can lie dormant in the soil for up to 30 years, and germinate in response to heat and soil disturbance.
When left unchecked, fire-loving gorse infestations have grown into impenetrable thickets, preventing native plant species from regenerating and increasing the risk of wild fires wiping out the remaining South Esk pines.
Thanks to a small but dedicated team working through the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, gorse has been all but removed. The task now is to remain vigilant. Future floods can bring gorse seed back, and seeds buried in the soil will remain a ticking time bomb, waiting for disturbance or fire before springing back to life.