Our Coastwest-funded project for 2017, ‘Arresting Floreat dog beach blow-outs’, has got off to a good start. On Tuesday 13 June, the matting materials were delivered and Town of Cambridge staff transported them up the beach to the fenced-off areas at paths 14 and 16.
Soon afterwards two buses carrying 20 students together with teachers and education assistants from Leeming Senior High’s Education Support Class arrived and were briefed as to the matting task. They achieved coverage of the area between paths 13 and 14 which had been marked for matting – nearly one-third of the total project area. They did a great job for us, and also many thanks to our Coastcare Coordinator, Adeline Morrissey, who provided much help and guidance on the day.
The next day, a team of 9 from Conservation Volunteers Australia arrived and repeated the process for the two areas north and south of path 16, completing the remaining two thirds of the project area. Again a great effort from a small team and many thanks to CVA. Much of this area is steep dunes and difficult to work in, but they persevered and got the job done.
Then on Sunday 18 June, a planting team of 31 members and volunteers arrived to help plant the matted areas – the best turnout we have had for a long time. We planted slightly over 800 plants in what has turned out to be ideal conditions – the ground was still damp from the rain we had on 13 June, we had excellent weather last Sunday from the perspective of human comfort, and subsequently we recorded 39mm of rainfall during the week, which is what the plants needed to allow them to establish in the barren dunes.
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An inspection of the project areas on the beach on 22 June after an overnight storm and downpour shows that the matting all remains in place after quite strong winds, with the surf having advanced up the beach towards the fencing in front of the matted areas. Some sand has blown over them but that will help keep the matting in place and the plants seem to have weathered the storm well.
We have more to do – we still have 1400 plants from our nursery order to put in and roughly equally areas of unplanted matting remaining south of path 16 and between paths 13 and 14. So the plan is to do more planting in July to complete the task. For more information see Projects item.