Protect Platypi Habitat at Birch's Creek, Anderson's Mill

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Birch’s Creek at Anderson's Mill is an idyllic location visited by thousands of people every year. Children are often seen playing in the creek and families regularly enjoy picnics under the trees.

Unfortunately, the charm of this site is under imminent threat by the NCCMA.  The NCCMA has “proposed to remove the willows and woody weeds along the creek between the old bridge at the Mill and the Highway.” Talks with NCCMA have indicated that removal would involve the use of heavy machinery and potentially dangerous herbicides.

This approach would drastically denude the landscape, destroy the beauty of the setting and threaten the local ecology. Platypi are regularly seen at this site and willow root mats are known habitats for platypi. Reduced canopy and the use of herbicides could also threaten local frog populations. Fish, birds and invertebrate species would also be affected.

However, we have formed a local community group in Smeaton that has developed an alternative management plan for the site that would preserve heritage, enhance amenity values and strengthen the ecology of the site. If we can generate enough community support for this strategy the NCCMA has agreed to consider our Plan.

Our strategies are made in line with research conducted on ecology and community wellbeing. Our strategies are supported by the CRC for Australian Weed Management and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage’s own recommendations and by the extensive research and experience of local ecological pioneer David Holmgren.

Our plan is centered on accelerated succession and involves:

•  Removing select trees over a number of years, following expert advice that   considers the full ecological impact of each tree.


•  Management of established trees and deadwood.


•  Planting ecologically diverse, low fire-risk plants and trees alongside established trees to foster succession.


•  The removal of emergent willows and saplings by hand to stop the spread of willows and Hawthorn.


• The removal of blackberry without the use of glyphosate.


This strategy requires the support of the NCCMA for up to three years and then ongoing management by a group of local volunteers.

If you care about this site and want to see it protected and enhanced, please sign this petition and forward it to anyone who might be interested.

If you would like to learn more about our plan or receive research on the many ecological benefits of willows, please email Hayley at savethewillows@gmail.com

 



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