Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all from Lennox Head Landcare!  We’ve had a great year this year and we’d like to thank the community for their continued support and encouragement.

As a Landcarer I’m always looking at trees, I can’t help it. And at this time of year it’s all the non-native Norfolk Island Pines (pictured) around town I’ve been noticing the most. I think it’s because they really do look like giant christmas trees. This got me thinking — what happened to the tradition of bringing a real tree into your house at christmas? What happened to celebrating christmas with a little bit of nature?

I’d almost forgotten a time when as a kid dad would proudly come home with half a pine tree for the house at christmas. Look out if you accidentally brushed past it though. Mum would be cracking it because a thousand pine needles just landed on the floor, and meanwhile you’d be picking at the bucketload of sap then firmly stuck on your arm!

The tradition of the christmas tree is believed to have originated in Germany in the 1600s. If you were a kid during this time you might have danced around a fir tree decorated with apples and nuts.  It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the English embraced the christmas tree tradition, they ditched the apples and nuts though and decorated their trees with candles. Back here in Australia, we soon followed the English, but we didn’t have fir trees. Instead we got creative with local plants like tree ferns and christmas bush, until the pine tree was introduced.

The introduction of the plastic christmas tree is probably not a bad thing. But does it now mean we’re missing out on an important part of the tradition, the part that celebrated a little bit of nature?

With this thought in mind Lennox Landcare would like to suggest a new tradition. During the christmas break get out and celebrate our little patch of nature. Take a walk and explore and learn about our local plants and animals — if nothing else the walk will make you feel better after the season of mass consuming!

We suggest a walk along the coast track, starting at the boat ramp. See how far you can get, but if you’re fit and able, a walk to Boulders Beach and back is a good one. Check on our baby plants in the lower point area along the way.  One day they will be big and resemble the littoral rainforest that once grew there.

If you make it to the very top of Lennox Point, and I mean up the stairs, be sure to keep walking to the next lookout with views over Boulders Beach— it’s worth it! As you take it all in, notice the landscape adjacent to Boulders Beach.  It’s a little different to that of the past (see picture). Lennox Landcare have been helping to regenerate this old sand mining site since 2001. And with a well established rainforest canopy, abundant bird life and resident swamp wallabies… it’s our proudest achievement yet.

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