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Dalmeny grasslands under the microscope

Landcare volunteers were given a crash course in the importance of Themeda Grasslands, native plant identification and the history of the Dalmeny area in a workshop held on Duesburys Headland last month.

The two headlands at Duesburys Point and Duesburys Beach are home to some of the last remaining stands of Themeda Grassland communities in Eurobodalla, commonly known as kangaroo grass.

Themeda Grasslands are a protected Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995..

Management by ecological burning is a recommended method for conserving the grasslands and has been the technique employed by Eurobodalla Shire Council since 2013.

Council’s Project Officer Emma Patyus said the areas were traditionally used for camping, hunting and rituals as well as communications along the coast.

“It is quite unique that we are able to manage these living artefacts in their traditional manner by reintroducing Aboriginal burning regimes,” Emma said.

“Annual burning has been undertaken by the Dalmeny-Kianga Rural Fire Service since 2013 and has reinvigorated biodiversity and assisted in the control of weedy species.

“It’s great to be able to share this knowledge and history with our Landcare volunteers, and the wider community, so they can better understand the importance of protecting and enhancing these special places.”

At only four hectares, the Themeda Grasslands in Dalmeny are just a small component of the far-reaching Community Industry and Landscape Project, funded by Local Land Services, which has involved more than 30 educational events and enabled on-ground work in more than 200 hectares of bushland reserves since 2016.

“We have gratefully received the assistance of over 1,500 volunteers in that time and are extremely lucky to have so much interest and passion in the Eurobodalla for protecting and enhancing our natural areas,” Emma said.

“On Friday volunteers will attend a workshop at Broulee, this time looking at the beautiful Bangalay Sandforest EEC which is the dominant landscape feature from Broulee Village to the airport.

“We are always looking at opportunities for our volunteers to upskill and share their knowledge with each other. It’s also a great occasion for them to connect, make friends and enjoy some delicious locally-made treats.”

For more information about volunteering with Landcare in Eurobodalla please contact Landcare Coordinator Emma Patyus on 4474 7300 or emma.patyus@esc.nsw.gov.au

Above: Dedicated Landcare volunteer, Bob James from Lilli Pilli, was one of 35 volunteers who travelled to Dalmeny last month to find out more about the endangered Themeda Grasslands around Duesburys Beach

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