Lennox Landcare, March 17

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:

Wallum Banksia 

  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

Grass Trees

– 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

Christmas Bells

– 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 lennoxheadlandcare@gmail.com or phone Shaun on 0448 221 210.

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