Council steps in to save endangered Blue Gum High Forest

A long-term project to protect an area of endangered native trees in Turramurra has begun

Image of Sydney Blue Gum forest canopy in Turramurra.

Council staff have already spent several months eradicating invasive weeds such as morning glory from 2500 square metres of the Sheldon Forest Creek area in the reserve at the end of Warragal Road, Turramurra.

This is a beautiful, small reserve just off the Pacific Highway south of Turramurra, running between the top end of Warragal Road and Troon Place alongside Avondale Creek. Descending rapidly along the creek, the track meanders through the beautiful bushland of Sheldon Forest, along ridge tops, through open forest on the hill slopes and down to the creek side. Sheldon Forest is of high conservation status because it contains some of the last remnants of the endangered ecological communities Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest and Blue Gum High Forest.

Turramurra Blue GumKnown as the Avondale Creek Catchment Water Smart Community and Creek Stabilisation Project, it is being supported by the Greater Sydney Local Land Service with $50,000 of grant funding from federal and state government programs. This funding has contributed to around $220,000 worth of labour, materials and equipment to the project, which is ongoing.

The project’s aim is not only to rid the area of weeds, but also protect the creekline and the Blue Gum High Forest vegetation community which occupies the area.

Blue Gum High Forest is identified on the threatened species list as ‘critically endangered’, meaning the forest is in danger of becoming extinct. It is characterised by the tall Sydney Blue Gum tree, which provides shelter and food for native animals such as the Grey-Headed Flying Fox and Glossy Black Cockatoo, which are also endangered.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said the area had been transformed by the removal of the weeds and stabilising the creek bank.

“We’re also installing sediment basins and natural filters which will reduce the effect of nutrients and litter washed into the creek,” she said.

“Once this work is completed we’ll look at revegetating the area with native plants and shrubs and encouraging the community to get involved.”

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