MidCoast Council’s Bitou Bush eradication program will continue this year but on a much smaller scale to previous years.
Following the success of the 2020 campaign, drones will again be used, this time to target the bitou bush seedling regrowth at Crowdy Head/Harrington following both fire and floods in the area.
Spraying will begin on Monday 3 May, beginning at Crowdy Head Lighthouse and finishing at Harrington Breakwall, with exclusion zones in place around the drone as it operates.
“Last year we took a different approach to our bitou bush spraying program, using this drone for the first time,” explained Gerard Tuckerman, Council’s Manager of Natural Systems.
“This method achieved great results so we’ll be working with the same contractor. It’s important that we go back in now to minimise any regrowth.”
This work is fully funded through the NSW Government’s Crown Reserves Improvement Fund Program.
Spraying shouldn’t interfere with beach activities, but anyone using the beach on the day will need to obey signage and direction from staff on the ground.
Bitou bush invades native coastal heathlands and dunes. It grows quickly and forms dense hummocks between which coastal breeze is channelled, promoting erosion.
Bitou also replaces native plants both by direct competition and by altering the soil chemistry, further weakening the structural integrity of our dunes and destroying the complex habitat of native mammals and birds.
Infestations can smother sand dune, headland and coastal vegetation communities and many threatened species and plant communities have been affected.
The program will be carried out following recommendations contained in the ‘Best Practice Guidelines for Aerial Spraying of Bitou Bush in New South Wales’ published by the Department of Environment and Conservation and the conditions in the permit issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).