Past disturbances have left the reserve vulnerable to gorse infestation. 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 can grow into impenetrable thickets, preventing native plants 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 events can return seeds to the soil, where they will wait for a chance to spring back to life.