Friends of Freycinet August 2023 Sea Spurge Purge
Ten enthusiastic Friends of Freycinet along with our willing and very able Parks Rangers scoured the beaches of the East Coast for 3 long days from Little Beach in the north to South Friendly Beach in the south. Each team averaged about 10 kilometres per day along beaches, into estuaries and up and down dunes. In all, close to 60 kilometres of zig zag, up and down walking was achieved by the combined teams.
Although some spurge was found on all beaches, as Jon, our data collator said; “In total we removed about 180 mature and about 850 juvenile plants, making a total of just over 1000 plants.” He also said that it was a lot less than he was anticipating, which indicated that the regular weeding was going well.
The exercise, which involved Parks staff and volunteers, was carried out with great precision by our master planner. The shuttle of different teams to and from the start and finish points was a very complicated affair and worked very well. We were also helped by our super spurge spotters who managed to find and remove the spurge growing along that stretch of coast.
We realise that constant vigilance every year is the key to success with the weed. It is so easy to miss the tiny seedlings growing under other vegetation, and, at the other end of the growing cycle, we know that some of the plants we found had already dropped seed. Those sites will be checked again regularly.
The team was also on the lookout for the Beach Daisy (Arctotheca populifolia). Thankfully, we found none. Everyone also had their handy rubbish bags with them and between us all, managed to clean up the foreshore as we went along.
On an encouraging note, there was a group of 6 hooded plovers on the beach between Picaninny Point and Seymour and a big group of about 20? (not sure of numbers) on the beach between Seymour and Dennison River.