Lennox Head’s Tea Tree Fence Turns 50

In June 1967 people in Lennox Head watched in horror as the ocean savagely tore sand dunes and vegetation from a stretch of beach between the shopping centre and Lake Ainsworth during severe storms. For a short time, the sea broke through into Lake Ainsworth.

Determined this would not see the demise of their splendid sandy beach, Lennox Head townspeople supported Bill Tresise’s suggestion to construct a fence of closely packed tea tree logs along the degraded dunes. Tresise was a Lismore businessman and owner of Lennox Head beach front property which he had attempted to protect from erosion with a similar fence.

Within weeks, enterprising villagers had arranged 8,000 tea tree poles, a high pressure water pump and commitment of around 50 volunteer workers to six weekends of hard labour. The Ladies’ Committee provided ongoing nourishment.

‘It was backbreaking work,’ said John Burrows, long term Lennox resident and a volunteer on the fence, ‘and we had some awful winter weather.’

By about 1970, the fence had done its job of trapping sand on incoming tides and today it has disappeared under the dunes that make Lennox Head such an appealing beach.

‘We will commemorate this extraordinary effort and ‘can-do’ attitude of 50 years ago at this year’s Love Lennox Festival on 3 June,’ said Robyn Hargrave of the Lennox Head Heritage Committee, ‘and wish to contact people with memories and photographs of the construction of the fence.’

Contact Robyn Hargrave at harg1rob@gmail.com or 0412 660 994.

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