Fighting the river weeds

A local Landcare group have got down to work fighting noxious weeds that are growing along the Badja River. They are doing it with the help of a grant from the NSW government.

The Numeralla and District Landcare group was given $22,500 to support a three year project to eliminate blackberry, broom and other invasive weeds growing along the pristine Badja River at Numeralla.

Numeralla Landcare president Jim Wharton said Landcare group recently conducted a survey along the Badja River from 'Badjaree' to 'Undoo' to look for the presence of noxious weeds such as broom, blackberry and willow.

"The work is part of the grant we received from the NSW Envirotrust fund to survey and control the spread of primarily blackberry on the Badja River between the village of Numeralla and 'Badjaree'," Mr Wharton said.

The project will be staged over a three-year-period with Landcare volunteers doing all the survey work and some site revegetation and contracted weed control operators poisoning the target weeds.

"The river section we have just traversed represents the first sector to be surveyed. It is a fantastic unspoilt riparian corridor with native vegetation intact and flourishing along the spectacular cascading watercourse."

He said the section from 'Undoo' to Numeralla was the most testing of environments with significant clumps of blackberry amongst a thick corridor of streamside bush.

"This was a full-day exercise with four people - two on each bank, traversing the 15 kilometre section, thankfully without any injuries, given the rocky terrain," Mr Wharton said.

"Only two snakes were seen and by the same person!"

Mr Wharton said the most prevalent weed was broom with over 70 plants recorded and 20 willows.

The final year of the project will involve a re-survey to check the success of the work done and erradicate any further weeds.

"The survey will be an aid not only to the follow-up control with al the data being made available to the weed control operator but also as a long term measure to gauge the success of native vegetation regeneration, with a number of photo-control points along the river," he said.

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