Helping bushland to rise from the ashes

Bush Care Group Michelle McAliece, Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones, Dan Walker and Donna Halliday. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417980
Bush Care Group Michelle McAliece, Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones, Dan Walker and Donna Halliday. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417980

Only about 10 per cent of the reserve, a 12ha Banksia woodland, remained after the Forrestdale and Banjup bushfire tore through it on February 9.

The entire understorey of vegetation was lost, with only charred banksia remaining.

The reserve is an environmentally sensitive area and provides an important food source for endangered black cockatoos.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said while many Australian native plants were able to survive fire and would reshoot or re-sprout, banksia trees were killed by hot fires.

‘The banksia trees regrow via seed and it will take around five to eight years for the tree to reach maturity and produce any seed, so the rehabilitation of Gibbs Road reserve will take a number of years,’ he said.

The reserve required intensive weed control and revegetation and the Bushcare team provided specialist care for optimum recovery. Team members will take part in a monitoring program to document the regeneration of the vegetation and also help look after remnant bushland.