There’s nothing like a show of nature’s mighty roar to remind us of our humble place in the world. The recent heathland and Ross Lane fires no doubt brought about anxious and frightening times for many, but hopefully for now the fires have calmed down. Maybe it’s time to look forward to watching the landscape recover. Many of our local plants are well equipped to cope with fire and depend on it for their survival. Fires can stimulate flowering and seed drop and the freshly charred earth provides ideal conditions for germination. Here are some of the more impressive plants to watch:
– Fire stimulates Banksia cones to open and seeds to drop, the ground can appear heavily littered with papery seeds
– Thick bark protects growth buds from fire and plants sprout from scorched stems, trunks and tree bases
– Tightly packed leaf bases protect growing points, often one of the first species to resprout after fire
– Fire is also known to stimulate flowering, this could occur later in the year
– Rely solely on fire to stimulate flowering
– Masses of red and yellow bell shaped flowers should pop up in the fire affected heathland around Christmas time this year and maybe next.
Whilst fire has a place in our landscape it can also have negative impact on biodiversity, particularly if too hot, too extensive or too frequent. Considering that it’s only been 3 years since our last fire it’s probably fair to say that – unless planned with good science and cultural knowledge – we’ve seen enough for now!
Don’t forget your garden can be a place of refuge for displaced wildlife.
Here’s a few things you could do in the garden to help out;
– Create food and habitat by planting local native plants
– Get yourself a bird bath or a pond to provide a source of water for wildlife
– Keep the cat in at night.
On a more communal note, stories of neighbours looking out for each other, offers of open doors and the outpouring of support to the firies, showed that we are a strong community in times of adversity.
Landcare dates for March
(Times are from 8am to 10am)
Wed 1st Seven Mile Dunes – north of surf club
Wed 8th Boulder Beach – Coast Rd car park
Wed 15th Seven Mile Dunes – opposite Williamsburg
Wed 22nd Boulder Beach – Coast Rd car park
Wed 29th Lower Point – surfers’car park, Coast Rd
www.lennoxheadlandcare.org; email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Shaun on 0448 221 210.