Home Blog Oozing like a fresh wound - rehabilitating Canberra’s burnt bogs

Oozing like a fresh wound - rehabilitating Canberra’s burnt bogs

media, Blog | 15 Feb 2022 |

Oozing like a fresh wound - rehabilitating Canberra’s burnt bogs

Experts and volunteers are joining forces to rehabilitate Canberra’s burnt bogs in Namadgi and Tidbinbilla as part of the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

 Martine Franco, Executive Officer, Southern ACT Catchment Group, said bogs play a critical role in nature and a series of volunteer activities to aid their recovery are being delivered by Southern ACT Catchment Group with support from Landcare ACT.

 “Landcare volunteers are working with experts, like Dr Ben Keaney from the ANU, to assist the recovery of Canberra’s bogs which were burnt in the 2019/20 bushfires," said Ms Franco.

 Dr Keaney shared his knowledge with the volunteers during a site visit last year, where he explained the vital role sphagnum (sfag-nuhm) bogs play in Canberrans' lives.

 “Canberra’s bogs play a critical role in our ecosystem. In addition to providing habitat for endangered species, bogs contain sphagnum moss which plays an essential role in filtering our drinking water and regulating the flow of water, much like a tap, into our catchment areas,” said Dr Keaney.

 “Canberra’s bogs have suffered under the impacts of the 2003 and 2019/2020 bushfires, and more broadly climate change. We need to help our bogs recover so they can continue to play their critical role in the environment.

 "Recovery of the bogs is helped through human agency. Over the last two years, the rain has aided recovery, but more needs to be done with the help of Canberrans volunteering through projects such as this," he said.

 The project seeks volunteers to assist in helping the bogs recover more rapidly by installing shade cloth, undertaking weed control to reduce competition to the sphagnum, and installing fences to restrict grazing animals.

 Landcare volunteer Dan Clark has participated in various events as part of this project and said it is extremely evident where the bogs have been burnt and affected by the fire.

"Usually, there is a shrub layer over the top of these bogs with sphagnum moss underneath. Most of the shrub layer has been burnt off, and the bogs are stark and oozing like a fresh wound,” said Mr Clark.

Mr Clark enjoys spending time in nature and is saddened and horrified by the state of Namadgi after the fires. Volunteering with this project enables him to learn more about our environment from experts whilst improving his wellbeing.

“Participating in this project is soul food to me - to engage in restoration activities that actually give nature a leg up,” said Mr Clark.

Visit the Southern ACT Catchment Group website to find out how to volunteer for this project, delivered as part of the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program: https://sactcg.org.au.

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants Program is supported by the Australian Government's Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat. It is an alliance between the National Landcare Network, the Landcare peak bodies in Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia, together with Landcare Australia.

Media release

Media Release
We acknowledge the Ngunawal people, who are the Traditional Landowners of this country and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay respect to elders past, present and emerging.
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