positive human interaction with the river's ecology
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Watercourse and biodiversity benefits for Lower Field River


IMAGES: Click for high res

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Students from Hallett Cove South Primary School revegetating Hidden Valley with the Friends of Lower Field River and Greencorp
[Credit: David Greenhough]

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Congolli native fish counted as part of fish monitoring activities on Field River
[Credit: David Greenhough]

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Pimelea curviflora (curved rice flower) also found on site and rated rare for the Southern Lofty region
[Credit: Jerry Smith]

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Looking down on Hidden Valley
[Credit: David Greenhough]

 

 

The picturesque lower Field River has many willing hands helping to enrich the landscape around Cormorant Reserve, the estuary at Hallett Cove Beach and the nearby sand dunes.

A three year plan has been developed to help the Friends of Lower Field River preserve a number of critically important plant species, improve the health of the water and increase habitat for local birds.

Produced in collaboration with the Friends of Lower Field River, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board (the Board) and the City of Marion, this plan is an important tool to coordinate and fund onground action on watercourse rehabilitation and biodiversity works.

Cormorant Reserve at the mouth of the Field River has plants in it such as Pimelea micrantha (silky rice flower) which is rare, and Pleurosorus rutifolius (blanket fern) which is uncommon, for the Southern Lofty region.

Supported by Jess Mitchell, Project Officer with the Board, one of the first steps in the plan is to remove exotic vegetation to help protect these and other native plant species which naturally occur on site, or have been planted by the Friends group.

David Greenhough of Hallett Cove is just one of 20 volunteers who regularly work on this site.

"What we are doing is the start of bringing back native animal and bird life into the area."

Native bird life has started to return to the area, says Mr Greenhough, with silver eyes, fairy wrens and grey currawongs counted in a bird census the group conducted late last year, with the Friends of Glenthorne. This census will form the baseline for future monitoring.

The mouth of the Field River is also an important estuary for fish. The group is involved in annual fish monitoring programs to gather valuable spatial information on native fish populations.

"We really enjoy our time doing fish monitoring exercises with the Board's NRM Education staff and local schools," says Mr Greenhough. "It's a really valuable exercise which should be maintained."

Native fish are good indicators of the health of a waterway as they require disease-free and quality oxygenated water. Tube nets are set up to capture and count fish species and David was heartened to see no introduced fish in their nets.

More woody weed work will occur in grasslands to remove olives which are a big problem.

"Hidden Valley was overrun by olives and thistles and the area is now showing signs of revitalisation with tall eucalypts, middle and understorey plants re-establishing themselves," says Mr Greenhough.

"Our group can see the potential of the area to be revitalised with indigenous species of flora which in turn attract local fauna. This will then provide an area that will benefit the community and future generations by preserving the natural environment," says Mr Greenhough.

More volunteers are welcome. Please phone Mr Greenhough on 8387 6227.

For further information contact:

Rita Reitano, Acting Communications Coordinator; 0438 138 130

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