May 26 - June 1, 2019: Issue 406


Restoring Wetlands Near Careel Bay Final Field Day: More Volunteers For Careel Creek Bushcare Group Needed!

The Careel Creek Bushcare group with council Bushcare Officer Karin Nippard

The Sydney Basin is an environmental wonderland due to the variety of species found here. 

Careel Creek Bushcare Group
This is a long creek, so the group worked at two main areas – near the tennis courts off Barrenjoey Rd and beside the dog exercise area near Etival St, where a freshwater wetland has being restored. 

A grant to Pittwater Natural Heritage Association from Greater Sydney Local Land Services employed contractors to tackle the many vine weeds along whole the creek. 

The Careel Creek Bushcare Group worked irregularly at this area near the Barrenjoey Road corner with Etival Street, restoring a remnant freshwater wetland. A $15000 grant to Pittwater Natural Heritage Association funded this as part of its Pittwater Estuary Care grant from the Federal Government’s Community Landcare program (through Greater Sydney Local Land Services). Big coral trees and other weeds were removed, local native trees and shrubs planted and bagged to protect from rabbits. Northern Beaches Council coordinates and co-funds the project. Contract bush regenerators do the heavy work and volunteers do planting and maintenance. The Project is now completed.

Careel Bay regeneration area alongside Etival Street, June 27, 2015 - the re-greening of Pittwater produces beautiful nooks alike this.

 Bushcare planting at Careel Bay - Etival Street Planting Day 27.6.2015 - Front Page Issue 220

On Saturday June 27, 2015 volunteers helping the Pittwater Natural Heritage Association, in conjunction with Council, at a Community Planting Day were finishing planting out an area at the north end of Careel Bay playing fields beside the dog exercise area and on to the corner of Etival street.

Sydney Freshwater Wetlands Project 

A grant to PNHA from Greater Sydney Local Land Services funded some of this transformation, in partnership with Northern Beaches Council. 

This project, commenced in April 2018, has removed weeds and installed a habitat corridor from the bay to the creek. The last Field Day was Saturday May 25th, when a Buff Banded Rail, the first one seen here for decades, was spotted. 

Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis)

No greater illustration of what restoration of our waterways and bushland can do is demonstrated in the return of native species and fauna. The wetland area was overrun with weeds, but extensive planting of native plants has transformed it.


Site cleared of worst weeds mid 2018 by contractors funded by the grant. The same area planted late 2018, protected against rabbits.

Sydney Freshwater Wetlands are an endangered ecological community, hence the funding, most of which went to other remnant Wetland areas around Sydney.  

Some native plants part of Sydney Freshwater wetlands would be Eucalyptus robusta - Swamp Mahogany, paperbarks such as Melaleuca linariifolia and Melaleuca ericifolia, Sword Grass - Gahnia sieberana and the sedge Carex appressa. The group have planted other native shrubs on drier land around the wetter areas.

Area alongside northern end of Careel Bay playing fields and Barrenjoey road - Saturday March 30, 2016.

The Field Day held on Saturday May 25th was the last for this project, now completed. The only other grant PNHA have in progress at present is for the saving of Grevillea caleyi in the Baha'i temple area, at Ingleside, managed by Office of Environment and Heritage, OEH, with PNHA and Baha'i volunteers also meeting there once a month.

The location beside Barrenjoey Rd is adjacent to some of the work done under the PNHA Careel Creek Vine Weeds grant completed early this year. Vines, native and introduced, can damage Bushland specially along damp areas such as Creek lines, by breaking down trees and smothering smaller plants. 

Careel Creek Vine Weeds Project

This involved work along Careel Creek from north Avalon down to near the tennis courts, and other spots around Careel Bay as at end of John St Avalon. 

From Issue 366: Stroll through the walkway between the end of Joseph and John St Avalon to see what we planted yesterday (Sunday June 24, 2018). 

This formerly weedy place will soon be natural vegetation again - estuary-edge native plants, with some shrubs on the higher ground. 
Thanks very much to our volunteers and to the neighbour for letting us use water to get the plants off to a good start. 
Karin Nippard NB Council Bushland Manager supervised the work for this grant funded event. 

This was a Community Planting Day. The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association's grant from Greater Sydney Local Land Services is paying contractors to deal with vine weeds such as Morning Glory that smother native plants, on the ground and up trees, and also buying tubestock native plants.

Careel Creek Bushcare group works on the fourth Saturday morning of each month, at various locations along the creek and nearby. The project is run in partnership with Northern Beaches Council. Contact for more information.

Planting at the end of Joseph and John streets in June 2018

This volunteer was really determined to get cigarette butts out of the creek.

As part of this project PNHA published a booklet about vine Weeds, available in hard copy and on their website,  Both were community grants to PNHA from Greater Sydney Local Land Services, which allocates funds from the Federal Government.

When PNHA are about to apply for a grant for bush regeneration they consult with Council Bushland management staff about where money is needed for bush regeneration. If council is already spending on work in that area, that is counted as in-kind contribution to the project, a necessary condition for receiving grant funds. 

An important requirement of grant funded projects is to involve the community, in the first instance Careel Creek bushcare group. The Pittwater Natural Heritage Association undertake some publicised Field Days on those bushcare days inviting the community along to take part. They also undertake to share information about each project so people can see the what, why, and how these changes are taking place.

National Volunteer Week 20-26 May 2019, has a theme this year of  “Making a world of difference”.

What better way to close this week in a place where practically everyone does something for others than an insight into a the work that has been undertaken by these volunteers which has definitely made a world of difference for some years now.

Volunteers are still needed for maintenance and weeding along the creek once a month for a few hours - a great way for Duke of Edinburgh Award students to contribute a few hours once a month or any others with a will to see their own volunteer hands get busy and actually get to see the changes they have made grow.

Good company and a great morning tea are always provided!

With current dry conditions hand watering is required for these new plants so they all get a good soak. As the volunteers have put in lots of native ground cover, hand weeding is required, not weed spraying.

The Careel Creek bushcare group meets on the fourth Saturday morning of each month from 8.30 to about 11.30. Contact Karin Nippard, Northern Beaches Council Bushland Management Officer, on 0417 040 945 to find where the group will work each month.

Careel Creek days coming up are: June 22, July 27, August 24, September 28, October 26, November 23

Melaleuca ericifolia 


Persicaria decipiens

Marita Macrae, Pittwater Natural Heritage Association and Karin Nippard, Northern Beaches Council