Eden Field Archers Inc. (EFA) leases approximately 3.2 ha within the Shepherds Hill Recreation Park.
The Park, together with the National Trust’s Watiparinga Reserve, has one of the last substantial remnants of Grey Box Grassy Woodland and River Red Gum Woodland in the southern Hills Face Zone, which represents a significant park biodiversity value.
The main threats to native flora come from the high level of introduced species.
The aim of the project is to establish an effective weed control program so that the leased area becomes contiguous with areas of good quality native vegetation created by the Friends of Shepherds Hill (FoSH) in the eastern part of the Park adjacent to Watiparinga Reserve.
This will increase the current areas of biological corridors and improve catchment water quality. EFA has acquired a survey of pest plants and a schedule of works to eradicate weeds in some 2.4 ha of low to medium density.
Eradication of olive and ash trees comprises about 95% of the proposed works which aligns with the DEW management strategy, as communicated to EFA by Park Rangers. These trees are notoriously difficult to kill and persistent regrowth is difficult to control with small groups of volunteers with limited time. EFA seek funds to engage a professional contractor to eradicate a large number of weeds, thereby creating an area of quality vegetation that can be more easily managed by volunteers in the long term.
EFA has engaged Creation Care Pty Ltd, who are experienced in the Park, having previously carried out work for FoSH. The main methods would be basal bark spraying and drill/ fill.
Both techniques provide targeted focus on specific plants, minimising the risk of unwanted drift onto native or non-targeted vegetation, and other park users.
The long-term vision is to ensure the greybox grassy woodland environment is reinstated while maintaining as much as possible the visuals and aesthetics that users currently enjoy, into the future.