Coastal revegetation is sponsored by Quiksilver and managed by Torquay Landcare Group. Three different planting strategies are used for varied coastal sites.
On October 9, the sun was warm and the surf running high when forty people gathered together by the Torquay Landcare marquee for a tasty and nutritious lunch at Bells Beach. It was a happy gathering, where those present felt satisfied by a morning of vigorous physical labour.
A group of staff, committed to revegetating the coastal environment had persuaded their employer - Quiksilver - to sponsor their presence. Twenty-one Quiksilver staff drawn from all departments of the surfing giant whose headquarters are based at Torquay, were present as they had volunteered their labour.
Landcare Australia facilitated the sponsorship with Torquay Landcare Group managing the activities and inviting three other local groups to join them. Friends of Jan Juc Creek, Friends of Point Addis and Surfers Appreciate the Natural Environment (SANE) willingly added their efforts. Also responding to the call were ParksVic and the Surf Coast Shire who contributed in their role as land managers, including the days of preparation leading up to the event.
For those interested in the detail of such plantings, it was notable that each of the three sites was planted using very different strategies:
• At Jan Juc Creek, the soil along riparian areas was solid but was hand dug with the aid of Hamilton planters. Months earlier weeds were sprayed by Council and on the day, planters eradicated remaining weeds by hand. Tree guards were not used as rabbits had not been seen in the vicinity, so there was just a single stake to note the presence of the plant.
• At Southside carpark, on the cliff-top, between Bells Beach and Southside, in an area vaguely sheltered by existing coastal vegetation, revegetation had been delayed for two years because of poor rainfall. Ground preparation over this period, involved spraying to eradicate unwanted weeds. On the day, an auger was used to dig holes in the heavy soil, with ‘cross-hatched’ plastic tree guards, recycled from previous plantings, enclosing each individual plant.
• At Point Addis, a very exposed point high on the cliff tops, three small areas had previously been fenced off, with the aid of star pickets and rabbit proof fencing. Gypsum had been sprinkled around the planting site and fertilizer pellets & moisture crystals were added to holes that had been previously dug with the aid of an auger. Self sown plants that were emerging were marked with bamboo stakes and mulched along with those planted by human hands.
There were techniques used in common at each of the three sites - use of water and mulch. As there had been so little rain in 2008, plants were generously watered in, thanks to ParksVic and Landcarer Steve Findlay. Coarse mulch was also used around each individual plant, in an effort to conserve moisture and reduce invasive weeds. The planters look forward to successful growth on all three sites.
Why not visit each site to check out the growth and while there, think about why different planting regimes were used?