In 1989 a few local people noticed thickets of holly taking over the bush. In a short time the weeds would dominate Pope's Glen and threaten the National Park - now the World Heritage National Park! - only 2 km downstream!
In 1992, the Pope's Glen Bushcare Group joined the Council's embryonic Bushcare Network - only the third or fourth volunteer group in the Blue Mountains. Council provided the guidance of an expert and patient Bushcare Officer, a supply of tools, the removal of weeds collected and the distribution of the group's monthly newsletter.
The Pope's Glen Bushcare Group
Pope's Glen Reserve
Pope's Glen Reserve is a beautiful and significant band of native bushland bounding Pope's Glen Creek and stretching from the World Heritage National Park to Memorial Park, almost in the centre of Blackheath township.
Since 1992, the group has removed hundreds of holly trees, then broadened the scope to include other woody weeds (pittosporum, cotoneaster, cherry laurel and privet - many of them full-sized trees); pine trees, some up to 100 ft high; vines (English ivy as thick as an arm festooning the eucalypts; carpets of honeysuckle), gorse, broom, blackberry and montbretia in abundance everywhere …
The group's on-going work includes controlling weeds so the native bushland plants can regenerate naturally, and planting programs where needed to revegetate highly degraded areas.
Pope's Glen transformed
Take the Pope's Glen walking track to Govett's Leap and experience the beauty of the bush - weed free!
The Pope's Glen Bushcare Group works on the fourth Saturday of each month, excluding December, from 9.00 am - 1.00 pm (including a generous morning tea!). It takes a lot to stop them! In the first 12 years, they missed one work day because of weather - 50 mm of rain amid tropical lightning! On average, they work about 35 person hours per day, about 385 person hours per year. Volunteers are always welcome!
1.primary weed removal
2.erosion matting, if necessary, to protect the soil
3.seedlings (grown from local seeds) are planted through the matting and seeds strewn to assist natural revegetation.
4.regular secondary weeding until the native seedlings and self-sown plants become established.
The Pope's Glen Bushcare Group, in partnership with Blue Mountains City Council, has received support from:
Conservation and Land Management (CaLM)
Save the Bush
National Landcare Program
Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority
Department of Land and Water Conservation (now Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources)
Urban Runoff Control Program
In March 1998, the Urban Run-off Control Program grant employed professional bush regenerators to extend the work of the volunteer group further down the catchment.