The Tunbridge Gully restoration project in Boddington is showing great signs of success with the new seedlings planted over the last few years dominating throughout the area. This joint project between South32, the PHCC, Friends of the Reserves – Boddington (Inc.), Boddington District High School, Newmont Australia and the Shire of Boddington aims to restore the natural ecosystem and improve water quality through the removal of the invasive weed Juncus acutus (Spiny rush) and planting of native seedlings.
The first round of weed spraying was undertaken in 2017, followed by cool burn in 2018 to assist with the control of the invasive weed. Since then an annual spraying program has occurred to have maximum effect on the weeds. The seven hectare area has seen over 22,000 seedlings planted, which have been a mixture of trees, shrubs and understory species. This has all been possible through a massive 415 volunteer hours that have occurred to date by the amazing Boddington District High School students and other Hotham-Williams volunteers through our annual community planting events.
These combined activities along the creek line from the Boddington town dam site through to the Hotham River foreshore are proving fruitful with recent weed survey results showing a decline in Juncus acutus area from 5.84 hectares in 2015 to only 1.98 hectares in December 2020 (Mattiske Consulting, 2021). The two weed species most prevalent were Juncus acutus and Asparagus asparagoides (Bridal Creeper).
As native vegetation grows and creates a canopy across the creek line, Juncus acutus will continue to decline. Ongoing yearly ecological and photo monitoring will be conducted by PHCC and volunteers throughout the area to track the success of this program.
This project is coordinated by Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding South32 Worsley Alumina, and in partnership with Friends of the Reserves – Boddington (Inc.), Boddington District High School, Newmont Australia and the Shire of Boddington