Bushlink and SoS find sunny solutions

Saving our Species and the organisation Bushlink* have been working together in the Middle Head and North Head areas for over two years to help conserve the endangered plant species, sunshine wattle.

Sunshine wattle (Acacia terminalis subsp. terminalis)

The collaboration started when Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Ranger Mel Tyas received a call about rubbish on Collins Flat Beach and the caller suggested she contact the young people at Bushlink to see if they could help clear the area to help protect the sunshine wattle (Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis (or ATT)).

‘We did just that. I had no idea Bushlink did bush regen too, so they were quickly re-tasked and the fantastic group has now made significant progress regenerating bushland where there is an abundance of ATT,’ Mel said.

‘The group meets weekly at North Head to remove weeds that are growing adjacent to the historic sandstone wall separating Sydney Harbour National Park from St Patricks Estate.’ Bushlink’s Manager Cathy Hockey said that her team of five are working regularly to protect ATT and other native plant species by gradually removing whiskey grass, aristea, asparagus fern and other weed species along the sandstone wall.

Lately, the team has ventured further down the wall to tackle an area of lantana.

‘I like removing weeds like whiskey grass and aristea so we can protect the natives. I like how we can look at the ocean while we work’.

Dylan, Bushlink team member

‘The ongoing partnership with OEH is highly valuable to Bushlink. Being able to work regularly on a site and particularly one with the aim of protecting ATT, enhances environmental stewardship within our teams as they see, over time, the progress they have made,’ Cathy said.

‘Mel Tyas said that the Office of Environment and Heritage has recently commissioned a report on the status of ATT at both North and Middle Heads. This report will provide advice about where we should concentrate our efforts over the next year.

‘‘So, our partnership with Bushlink will continue to grow across the park - just as the ATT will!’ Mel added.

‘I like finding different weeds and removing them. The view is very nice. I feel good about protecting the acacia.’

Tarek, Bushlink team member

* Bushlink is proudly operated by Northside Enterprise Incorporated and provides hands-on environmental work for people with disabilities.

Bushlink participant Kieran helping protect sunshine wattle

Bushlink participant Kieran helping protect sunshine wattle Photo: C Hockey

Bushlink participants removing weeds to protect sunshine wattle

Bushlink participants removing weeds to help protect sunshine wattle Photo: Mel Tyas