Bushfires expose major rubbish and weed issue at Crowdy Bay National Park

DESTROYED: Kylie's Hut and the national park around Diamond Head has been destroyed. Photo: National Parks and Wildlife.
DESTROYED: Kylie's Hut and the national park around Diamond Head has been destroyed. Photo: National Parks and Wildlife.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and local community members are appealing for volunteers to help regenerate the environment after recent bushfires exposed widespread litter and stirred up weed seedlings.

Camden Haven resident and local volunteer Sue Baker said the amount of rubbish found after the fires at Crowdy Bay National Park was shocking.

"Labels on some bottles dated to the 1970s, so the fires exposed a 50-year-old collection of rubbish," she said.

"Park staff collected a huge amount of broken bottles and glass which filled four skip bins.

"Broken glass is a hazard, not just for people but for also for animals who reside in the park."

The bushfires also completely destroyed Kylie's Hut, an important historical site within the park.

"Kylie's Hut is recognised by NPWS as a significant European cultural site and is very much loved and valued by the local community," a spokesperson from the organisation said.

"NPWS undertook a comprehensive clean-up of the Kylies Hut site last month and salvaged all building materials from the site.

"NPWS will now seek to engage a Heritage Architect for expert advice on reconstruction options and future interpretation of the site including the original hut ruins."

Sue said unfortunately while abundant rainfall has resulted in a spectacular regeneration of native plant life, it has also caused germination of weed seed banks in several areas.

NPWS is currently undertaking an intensive weed control program in Crowdy Bay National Park.

"More than 20km of coastline has been treated for bitou bush, including the inaccessible headlands using drone technology," a NPWS spokesperson said.

"A widespread Groundsel weed mapping and control program has also been recently completed as part of the bushfire recovery program."

A Clean Up Australia Day event, coordinated by the National Parks Association in collaboration with NPWS, was hosted in the park in late March, with 20 community participants covering a large area.

In addition to regular NPWS rubbish removal works, NPWS staff have supported several community working bees to collect rubbish from across the park over recent months.

The organisation is appealing to community members to join a series of working bees to assist the park's post bushfire recovery.

Fortnightly working bees will run for at least the next two months, alternating between Saturdays and Thursdays. The next working bee is on Thursday, July 16.

For more information, or to join as a volunteer please call Sue on 6559 7134.

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