Besom Heath Eradication Project
Tamar NRM has successfully obtained a grant for a three-year project to tackle an invasive weed, Besom Heath, which is growing in a relatively small area of land in the Bridgenorth and Rosevale area.
Besom heath is an introduced shrub from Europe, a close relative of the better known Spanish heath; when not in flower the two are easily confused. The weed infestation at Bridgnorth and Rosevale is the only know infestation of the weed anywhere in Australia, hence much of the work being done as part of this project is a first, both nationally and worldwide (as far as we are aware).
Besom heath, if left untreated, has a similar weed potential to Spanish heath or gorse. There are sites within the project area that you can’t walk through for how thick the besom heath has grown.
This Facilitated Large Grant from the Tasmanian Government's Weed Action Fund will allow Tamar NRM and partners to run a chemical trial on a property at Bridgenorth to find an effective chemical treatment for Besom Heath, and then plan the treatment and eradication of the weed over the next few years. Support from landowners where the weed is growing will be crucial to the success of this project.
The chemical trial has started and will be monitored for 18 months to find which chemical or combination of chemicals is most effective in killing Besom Heath. Effected landowners will be offered assistance to develop weed management plans, and to do on-ground works to eliminate the weed.
More about the project:
Herbicide Trial: To date Besom Heath has largely been treated in the same way as is close relative Spanish Heath, however this treatment is proving ineffective. Herbicide trials are underway, which commenced in October 2021 and monitoring is to continue until May 2023. We are trialling 7 different woody weed chemicals with 14 different rates, combinations and treatment methods.
Delimitation Survey: Before we can start dealing with this problem we need a better understanding of where the weed is growing. A lot of survey work was done by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (formerly DPIPWE) in 2015. We are currently updating and expanding upon this work. We are particularly interested in the land around Pipers Lagoon and Grassy Hut Tier, but if you are receiving this letter we are interested accessing your property for the purposes of the survey (this is entirely voluntary).
Weed Management Planning: We are planning at two levels. We have developed a landscape scale plan looking at the area as a whole, but we are also offering Landowners the opportunity to develop a weed management plan specific to their properties.
On Ground Action: For those keen to get their hands dirty and make a start, we are currently offering financial support for the purchase of herbicides and free rental of Tamar NRM's spray trailer.
Project Coordinator - Denis Giasli
Field Officer - Anthony Randall
Supported through funding from the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund, a $5 million Tasmanian Government initiative until June 2024. The funds provided by the Tasmanian Government will be invested with landholders, land managers, and other organisations to tackle weeds that are impacting valuable agricultural and environmental assets.