Wallsend (Newcastle), NSW
As part of a new Bunnings Warehouse development there was a requirement to construct a wetland between the new building and the adjacent Ironbark Creek, which has a highly urbanised catchment. After construction and planting of the wetland, a maintenance plan was required to ensure that the wetland established well and was managed for threats such as weeds.
The weed threat was great due to the newly established nature of the site and the fact it lay adjacent to a highly weed infested creek and surrounding catchment.
Of major concern was the discovery of Alligator Weed, a highly invasive noxious aquatic weed.
Sky Land Management was engaged to develop a plan for ongoing maintenance of the wetland, as well as the implementation of this plan. Due to the sensitive nature of a wetland, a variety of techniques and methods were used for weed control. For example, the Alligator Weed was first addressed through extensive hand removal, laying it in rafts above the high water mark to dry out. Following this regular, application of glyphosate (Roundup) suitable for aquatic situations was applied, using low volume knapsack spray units. This ensured a high level of accuracy in application, with minimal use of herbicide.
Other less significant invasive weeds have also been managed throughout the maintenance program.
Wetlands are dynamic, with water levels rising and falling based on weather and seasonal conditions. The maintenance plan was structured in a way to allow it to be dynamic, with trigger points based on site conditions. This ensures that the weeds are managed according to season growth patterns and inundation levels in the wetland.
To date there has been a significant reduction in the dominance of Alligator Weed and other weeds and an ongoing establishment of native flora species, both planted and those which have established naturally.
The wetland is home to many different bird species and due to its easy accessibility is frequented regularly by local bird watchers.
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