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Lithgow SwampCare Day lures volunteers!

A team of fifteen enthusiastic volunteers gathered at Browns Swamp near Lithgow on Saturday 17 June to get stuck into the first Newnes Plateau SwampCare Day since 2014.

“We had people from Lithgow and others from as far afield as Blayney, Blackheath, Wentworth Falls and Parramatta,” reported SwampCare Day organiser, Marg Duffy, from Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“There were experienced volunteers from the Blue Mountains, representatives from the NSW 4WD Club and Zig Zag Railway, as well as people who weren’t associated with any particular group who just came along because they wanted to help,” said Marg.

The volunteers got straight to work removing Himalayan Honeysuckle, a serious threat to upland swamps in the Blue Mountains region.

“Himalayan Honeysuckle is an emerging weed in these swamps. It can get out of control and really take over,” said Marg.

“Himalayan Honeysuckle was beginning to spread through Browns Swamp and nearby Kerma Crescent Swamp. We managed to remove most of the honeysuckle, however, we will need to do some follow up work in spring.”

The swamps of the Newnes Plateau are unique and sensitive upland wetlands which are home to threatened species including the Giant Dragonfly and the Blue Mountains Water Skink.

During a lunch break the volunteers took time out to hear local species expert, Dr Ian Baird, outline the fascinating life cycle of the Giant Dragonfly, and how it is one of the water dependant species that relies on upland swamps for its existence.

“The swamps provide key habitat for threatened species but these fragile wetlands face numerous threats including climate change, water loss, erosion, sedimentation, and weed invasion. Some of these threats we can’t control but we can do something about the weeds!” said Marg.

“SwampCare is about engaging the community to help look after upland swamps as part of the ‘Swamped by Threats’ project funded through the NSW Environmental Trusts Saving Our Species Partnership Grants Program.”

“We would love to see SwampCare become an established volunteer group with an ongoing mission to look after and learn more about these unique wetlands. We are working with Lithgow Council as well as Lithgow and Oberon Landcare Association’s local Landcare Coordinator, Rechelle Fisher, to develop and support the group,” said Marg Duffy.

“Our next SwampCare day will be held in spring. If anyone is interested in getting involved, please contact me at the Local Land Services office in Lithgow,” said Marg.

For more information about Swampcare contact Marg Duffy at Central Tablelands Land Services on 02 6350 3113 or email: marg.duffy@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media contact: Jane Hogan – 6333 2305 or 0417 166 479 Email: jane.hogan@lls.nsw.gov.au