Invading the North Coast of Tasmania, sea spurge has wreaked havoc on the remote area pushing the shore birds from their nesting areas.

After volunteering with SPRATS (Sea sPurge Remote Area TeamS) on the West Coast of Tasmania Helen Plaister realised there was a desperate need to address the growing sea spurge crisis.

As a keen bushwalker and overall nature enthusiast, Helen was becoming increasingly concerned about the presence of sea spurge in the area where she has resided for over forty years. The weed was taking over the area, and consequently the number of birds breeding on the shores of Narawntapu were declining.

Friends of Narawntapu president Helen Plaister

Joined by a group from her community, Helen approached Wildcare Tasmania and the Friends of Narawntapu was formed. Six years on, the group of dedicated volunteers are making small steps in the removal of the invasive sea spurge and the rehabilitation of the coastal area through monthly working bees and summer programs.

“We are seeing bird species returning to the little areas that we have cleared so far,” Helen explains.

Within her community of volunteers there is growing awareness about the importance of environmental issues. In her role as group leader, Helen is able to influence those around her to become more conscious of the natural environment in which they live.

“Wildcare offers so many great opportunities to see the rest of the state and work on life changing projects by just giving a bit back. Wildcare is such a feel-good organisation.”

A volunteer at a recent sea spurge removal working bee

Helen has found the social impact of being involved in a volunteering group is equally as powerful, observing that for many it has helped to give life more meaning and assist in a clearer state of mind.

The Friends of Narawntapu are always searching for new volunteers to participate in working bees and join their community.

To become involved and give back visit