Gorse & thistle busting on Tassie's east coast

Published 08 Feb 2018 
by Helen Tait  
about  Friendly Beaches South Esk Pine  
Volunteers Helen Tait, Tom Sjolund, Peter Eastman and Kim Eastman taking a break from removing gorse at South Esk Pine Reserve.<br/> Volunteers Helen Tait, Tom Sjolund, Peter Eastman and Kim Eastman taking a break from removing gorse at South Esk Pine Reserve.

Tasmania’s east coast was hard to beat as a location for a working bee, so maybe our volunteers got more than a little inspiration from the stunning location. Our team of nine volunteers removed over 800 thistle plants and seedlings, hundreds of gorse plants, and helped with erosion control and South Esk Pine monitoring. Volunteer Helen Tait explains how our working bees are not just about hard work.

"Friendly Beaches was a lovely base for a working weekend. The Bush Heritage block there is a charming part of a great locale.

"The walk to work was along the beautiful white, and sometimes squeaky, sands beside turquoise waters and the calming sound of breaking waves. A pair of oyster catchers seemed unfazed and other shore birds delighted us.

"At the lagoon the swans were relaxed while several of the larger ones came forward to check us out and stood by as sentinels. The samphire was very pretty in the inlet near where the woodland came down to the water, and in the corner there we had thistles to keep us enthusiastically engaged for several hours.

"Next day in the South Esk Pine Reserve we made a very good impression on a corner of robust gorse and long into my exhausted sleep that night I was still tackling that tenacious thing!

"I believe that a good weekend was had by all, thanks to Annette Dean’s calm management and the extra interest of having ecologist Matt Appleby along with us.

Volunteers Helen Tait, Tom Sjolund, Peter Eastman and Kim Eastman taking a break from removing gorse at South Esk Pine Reserve.<br/> Volunteers Helen Tait, Tom Sjolund, Peter Eastman and Kim Eastman taking a break from removing gorse at South Esk Pine Reserve.