The Mosman peninsula contains approximately 147 hectares of bushland. Of this, Mosman Council controls approximately 39 hectares. The small size of Council’s bushland reserves and their proximity to urban areas has made them vulnerable to problems including nutrification, stormwater damage, weed invasion, habitat fragmentation and changed fire regimes. Conserving and restoring our bushland reserves was a key aim of the CEC.
Long-term (10 year) bushland restoration contracts were introduced concurrently with the CEC to help improve our bushland areas. These contracts were innovative in regard to their duration, catchment based approach, and performance measurement criteria. The contracts were based on the delivery of outcomes rather than the number of hours worked at each site and have been highly successful.
- Increasing the % of bushland with > 90% native vegetation cover to 58% from a starting point of 25%;
- Conducting a comprehensive flora and fauna survey;
- Reducing the percentage of bushland affected by uncontrolled stormwater runoff from 60% to 14%;
- Improving conditions for threatened native species Acacia terminalis sub sp. terminalis;
- Replanting degraded areas of open space.
Case Study – Balmoral Oval Restoration
The Balmoral Oval restoration project successfully restored bushland areas, created habitat, restored Balmoral creek and dealt with contamination issues at Balmoral Oval. Part grant funding from the Estuary Management Program was utilised to complete remediation and restoration works in the south western corner of Balmoral Oval, which had been fenced off to the public as a contaminated site. The decision was made to revert the site to a natural setting, with the area incorporating an informal loop walk, a bridge and large boulders for informal seating, to encourage passive recreational use of the area.
The site was capped with crushed sandstone and stormwater channels were formalised into creeks using sandstone and concrete. To improve the biodiversity outcome, several habitat features were incorporated for the local fauna. Ponds built into the stormwater channels were designed to receive gradual flows of water and were planted with local native aquatic species to provide shelter and water filtration. These ponds have provided a new habitat for frogs and other wildlife.
The area was revegetated with native plant species which are growing well. Rock piles and logs were scattered around the area to act as homes for small reptile species, and all tree hollows observed in the surrounding dead trees were left in situ to continue to provide bird habitat. The endangered species Acacia terminalis sub sp. terminalis has self-seeded at the site. Several hundred seedlings of the local canopy species Angophora costata have also self-seeded, providing an extremely successful biodiversity outcome.