Towards Gorse Eradication in Pipers River Catchment
This partnership project between Tamar NRM, East Tamar Landcare Group, Lilydale Landcare Group and the Launceston and Northeast Railway) is funded through the Tasmanian Government’s Weeds Action Fund for three years - it commenced in September 2021.
Significant progress was made in the first ten months, toward the objective of engaging all landholders in the Pipers River Catchment with gorse to develop a management plan and treat their infestations. A Field Day was held on 9 November 2021 with 31 participants hearing the best practice methods for treating gorse and seeing demonstrations of the majority of those methods. By the end of June 2022, 69 per cent of the 43 known sites had a gorse management plan and 36 per cent of the known area of gorse had been treated (with reimbursement of a portion of the costs of herbicide or contractor).
An important element of the project is annual reviews between the coordinator and the landholder of achievement of the actions in the management plans and then development of an updated action plan for the forthcoming year. Reviews were conducted for 21 sites. Results were mixed with 100% kill of all gorse plants for some sites with no regrowth or germination by the end of the year. Other sites had browned off plants but with some green shoots and gorse seedlings. The seasonal timing of spraying is a factor that will be carefully evaluated as the project continues.
Awareness of gorse as a land management issue in the catchment has resulted in the number of known sites more than doubling since the funding application was made. Follow-up treatment and an increase in the proportion of sites treated are the aims for the second year of the project.