A big thank-you to the nineteen members and volunteers who gave up their Sunday morning to crawl over the wet sand, cutting holes in the matting for the plants we put in with trowels – hard work in very cool conditions so many thanks to you all. The run of wet weather the plants have been enjoying fortunately gave us a good break on Sunday to do the last of the plantings in the Floreat dog-beach dunes. We planted nearly 600 plants of which 400 went into the blown–out dunes around path 14-16 and the balance into a recently rehabilitated area off the slip road south of path 12. Yesterday, the area got 20mm of rain which will have helped bed in the new plantings – we have been very fortunate in getting an average of 30mm per week after our plantings over the last 6 weeks. However we had very strong winds late last week and on Monday which have broken off some of the plants and seared others such that we must expect some casualties. In fact on Friday night, the surf crossed the fence-line at one of the planting areas between paths 13 and 14. It remains to be seen if spinifex and other tough plants we have put in (if planted deep enough) will have survived and will shoot when the warmer weather comes.
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Overall, we estimate that the four planting days will have involved about 180 hours of volunteer effort, whilst fencing off the areas and laying of matting involved a further 200 hours put in by Conservation Volunteers Aust teams and a group of teachers and special needs children from Leeming Senior High. Further time has been spent by Cambridge Coastcare and Town of Cambridge personnel and the outgoings for plants and matting etc amount to more than $20,000. So after all that cost and energy, we hope the plants do well and cover up the dunes during the spring and summer.