Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare

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Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare

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Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare (BSCFL) is a not-for-profit organization situated in Byron Shire, NSW, Australia. Our group emerged from widespread community concern about the repeated aerial spraying for Bitou Bush by Crown Lands and NSW National Parks along the coast in Byron Shire.

We are a very dedicated group of volunteers, concerned with widespread and unnecessary use of toxic pesticides for environmental weed control on public and private lands under the banner of landcare. There is large-scale herbicide use in lawn and garden maintenance and on public spaces – road sides, drains, parks, sports field and children’ play grounds. Our concerns rise from independent researchers pointing the dangers of commonly use pesticides like, glyphosate, for human healthy and our environment.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare volunteers are passionate about implementing sustainable land management. Since 2010 we have been working on 5 hectares of dunes at Brunswick Heads using very effective chemical free techniques. This site was heavily degraded by sand mining up to the 1970s which saw the planting of the environmental weeds Bitou Bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera), and Tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) and the subsequent invasion of difficult weeds like Glory lily (Gloriosa superba). The results have been even more effective that we could have hoped for.

In late 2016 we also began work on about 0.4ha of heavily Bitou Bush infested frontal dunes at South New Brighton.

But it is not all ‘work’ – we spend a considerable amount of our time connecting with each other and the land, noting its recovery. Under the professional supervision of bush regenerator Nadia de Sousa Pietramale, and botanical support and strategy advice from Ellen White, the many volunteers have shared wonderful times learning about country. Thank you all. It has been so exciting to watch the shape of the country emerge from the sea of Bitou.

Our group meets twice a month, focusing on primary work in the cooler months of the year, autumn and winter and as the weather warms up, spring and summer, we do easier work – follow up Bitou Bush seedlings. These are initially very prolific but soon diminish.

We are supported by Mullum S.E.E.D. inc. which also runs the award winning Mullumbimby Community Garden, but it is donations from local businesses and individuals that enable us to continue our work.

Your donation over $2 to BSCFL through Mullumbimby Sustainability Education & Enterprise Development (S.E.E.D.) is tax deductible, so if you can’t get to the dunes at Brunswick Heads to help us remove Bitou Bush, but you are like us and want to care for our country, you can donate to us online at Mullum Seed and choose our project from the list.

All donations given to BSCFL are used for the payments of tools, administration expenses and chemical-free bush regenerators.

There are two key areas for our approach:

Bush Regeneration: we seek to maximise habitat for all indigenous species (not just plants) and to contribute to the recognition of our place in the Australian environment.
Public Spaces: we need to reduce environmental and community health risks during landscaping and management of our public spaces.

Our chemical-free goals

Reframe the way we look at ‘weeds’ showing their beneficial aspects.
Critique the ‘science’ behind herbicide-centred weed control programs.
Provide a guide to the principles and practices of chemical-free land care.
Document and celebrate the successful work being done by many across Australia using chemical-free approaches.
Reduce the use of herbicides, now a major polluter of air, land and water and a threat to ecological and community health

Type of group

Group

Primary environmental focus

Conservation & Protection

Environmental issue sub-category

Anti-pesticides

Geographic sphere or activity

Local

Primary location

Byron Shire

Known address

Brunswick Heads, New South Wales

Website link/s

Founding Year

2010

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