Rosedale’s appeal for residents and holiday makers alike is rooted in its valued natural environment. It is a rare coastal bushland hamlet free of commercial development. For decades the community has nurtured the native vegetation, wildlife, beaches and creek, and the marine park.
Bushfire, land clearing, erosion and weeds are our biggest environmental challenges.
Rosedale is always vulnerable to bushfire. We are surrounded by large tracts of native forest, and our hamlet has often steep terrain with limited road access and escape for firefighters, The devastating New Year’s Eve 2019 fire burned homes, forest, gardens, sand dunes and beach and creek infrastructure. To ensure such a catastrophe doesn’t hit us again, let’s all be better prepared.All homeowners are legally responsible for the fuel load on their property. Regular maintenance is key: look for places embers can attack. A community-wide effort to reduce fuel loads on properties will lower the risk of fire roaring through our bushland environment.For more info on preparing your home before the bushfire season starts, click here
Rosedale lost a lot of trees in the fires – but we are losing even undamaged trees now. It’s a difficult balance between fire risk and bushland ambience, but if we’re to keep our bushland setting and avoid becoming suburbia by the sea, it’s important to keep what we can. Our coastal bushland living and our wildlife depend on it.
Without the buffer of trees, shrubs and ground cover, heavy rains and hailstorms are now causing fierce runoff along walking tracks and vacant blocks.
For tips on protecting your property without cutting down trees, go to Making your Garden Fire Resistant.
Rosedale is zoned E4, Environmental Living, with a Tree Preservation code. A permit is required to prune or remove trees. See here
Some parts of Rosedale – those not within 100 metres of the beach or the creek - are covered by the 10/50 Rule.
This allows people to:
Find out if your property is in a 10/50 area using the RFS online tool.
The Rural Fire Services can issue Bush Fire Hazard certificates if you need to create an Asset Protection Zone.
The fire and huge seas in July 2020 played havoc with our sand dunes too. To prevent erosion and to provide habitat for native wildlife, the restoration of the dunes is now a priority.
A variety of native vegetation has regenerated. The remaining blackened shrubs and trees are left in place for now - they are important to the dune ecosystem for bird, insect, reptile and fungi habitat. In 2021 we’ll be looking at supplementary planting, with advice from Emma Patyus, Council’s Landcare coordinator.
Keeping on top of dune weeds is vital. In early 2021 a council contractor chipped out marram grass with a mini mattock and Rosedale Landcare regularly spots sprays other high priority weeds such as turkey rhubarb, asparagus fern and bridal creeper. Volunteer working bees tackle other weeds. If you’re interested in being involved, please email the Committee: email@example.com.
RESTORATION - THE SAND DUNE PROJECT
Coastal scientist Hannah Power from Newcastle University is working with us to help restore our sand dunes. Hannah has a strong connection to Rosedale through family and friends and welcomes this opportunity to contribute to Rosedale’s bushfire recovery. Hannah is analysing old records and recent satellite imagery to assess vegetation and erosion issues. She’ll help us understand how our dunes change as a result of natural and human impact and what we can do to enhance their health.
Hannah’s work will also help us respond to Council’s community consultation on their Coastal Management Program, to be in place by 2022.
THOSE INVASIVE RABBITS!
Paul Martin, council’s Invasive Species Officer is getting on top of the rabbits in our sand dunes. The rabbits dig under buildings, overgraze native grasses and compete with native animals and birds for food and habitat.
In late 2020, he began fumigating and collapsing the warrens, monitoring to make sure they hadn’t opened up again. Over February 2021 Paul employed a contract shooter, who worked between 8 pm and dawn. By mid-month, they’d observed 17 and culled 13, and after spotlighting sessions thought there were only a few left. If you see rabbits around, please let us know - this information helps Paul manage the rabbits.
The New Year’s Eve bushfire destroyed habitat and wildlife across Rosedale. Nikki Wallace called on various Men’s Sheds and community groups in Sydney who made 110 wildlife nesting boxes to help attract displaced wildlife back again.
Boxes usually take six to nine months to start to attract new residents – perhaps longer if there is little feed around. Exterior signs might include droppings on the lid, chew marks around the entrance holes and stains on the underside of the box.
To monitor a box high in a tree, Nikki put together a selfie stick on a painter’s pole, which lengthens to about four metres.
More info about monitoring nesting boxes can be found here.
Ensure that vegetation does not provide a path for the fire to spread to your house. Spread your plants so they do not form a continuous canopy. Do not plant species directly up against buildings.
Use non-flammable mulches close to buildings to increase soil moisture and suppress weeds - living groundcovers, pebbles or gravel. In the Rosedale crisis, spotfires in woodchip mulch smouldered for days, ready to reignite.
No plants are ‘fireproof’ – but some are drought tolerant and fire retardant. Use plants with a high moisture content – those with fleshy or broad leaves or with a high salt content. Living, fleshy green groundcovers such as pigface or Scaevola are drought tolerant and fire ready, providing native birds and animals with a safe haven and food. Prune them regularly to encourage fresh green growth, and clear dry or dead material well before the fire season.
Plant eucalypts, callistemons and melaleucas with high levels of volatile oil away from buildings. Avoid planting new eucalypts with loose, fibrous or stringy bark - this can easily ignite and encourage fire to spread through the crown of trees.
The following list is a useful pointer to fire resistant and fire retardant plants readily available for Rosedale.
Fire resistant plants that will not burn in the face of continued flame.
Fire retardant plants that will not burn in the first wave of a bushfire but may burn once dried out.
This list has been culled from the Australian Plants Society (Victoria), with their caveat: These plants have been found to provide some degree of protection during bushfires.
An additional list of native plants is grown by the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden. Download their list.
Some weed species - fire inkweed, blackberries, polygala, Crofton weed, Bitou bush – thrive after fire.
To tackle them see
Image Weed video
There are so many new weeds in our gardens, beach tracks and public bushland. But what is a weed and what’s a new plant to save? Council’s Paul Martin has put together a fantastic video to identify bushfire weeds. Click here
Here’s how to control common weeds in Rosedale gardens.
Hand pull small infestations. Spot spray larger infestations with 50ml Grazon per 10 litres of water. Do not spray in the canopy, pull to the ground and spray or leave in situ and scrape and paint stems. (Scrape with side of secateurs, apply herbicide to that scrape. The longer the scrape, the more surface area so try for at least 30cm.)
Hand pull seedlings. Cut and paint larger plants with neat roundup/glyposphate– cut the stump as close to the ground as possible then apply herbicide immediately
Hand remove isolated plants (taking care to remove the underground tuber). Spot spray larger infestations with a selective herbicide – Grazon (40ml/10 litres) or Brush Off (2g/10 litres), adding a surfactant at 10ml/litre. This is the best way to treat emerging seedlings as manual removal over a large area causes unnecessary soil disturbance and can often be ineffective (segments or multiple tubers can be missed). This is the same rate that you would use for asparagus fern so it’s a nice easy and effective way to treat these common weeds in situ with very little off target and no ground disturbance.
Rosedale’s Landcare volunteers work to keep Rosedale as it should be – tranquil, natural, brimming with bird life, coloured and scented by native flora and alive with native animals and insects - and with a clean and healthy creek and beaches.
The volunteers’ main task is weeding. Invasive weeds have generally escaped from surrounding gardens or grown from seeds dropped by birds.
Rosedale Landcare is now managed by Eurobadalla's Landcare Coordinator, Emma Patyus.
With help from council, Rosedale Landcare continues to put much effort into controlling invasive weeds at Banksia Flat (at the southern end of the main beach). The littoral rainforest vegetation here is endangered in NSW.
Regular short working bees also manage weeds on cliffs, tracks and the beach carpark, and with council support, revegetate the sand dunes to prevent erosion.
CAN YOU HELP? If you are able to help by joining a working bee please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working bees are usually short – only a couple of hours – but more hands would make a big difference.
Rosedale Landcare Contacts Daniel Long, email@example.com
This list of native plants and weeds found at Rosedale was prepared by Landcare’s Jane Lemann in 1997.
Rosedale is part of the NSW Government’s Batemans Marine Park. It is a marine protected area established to maintain biodiversity, protect habitats and fish nurseries and to provide refuges for threatened species, such as the grey nurse shark. The Park’s zones restrict specific activities, such as commercial fishing.
Within the Park, the Burrewarra Sanctuary Zone covers the area from the northern shore of Jimmies Island southwards to Barlings Beach, including Nuns Beach, Tranquil Bay and Geurilla Bay. It extends about three nautical miles offshore and includes inter-tidal areas up to the mean highwater mark.
You may not harm any animal, plant or habitat in the Sanctuary Zone – recreational fishing is banned. The exception is shore-based recreational fishing at Guerilla Bay Beach and Burrewarra Point. Aboriginal people may apply for special permits to take animals and plants to support cultural resource use in marine parks, including sanctuary zones.
The area north of the Burrewarra Sanctuary Zone, including the Rosedale beaches, is a habitat protection zone, where recreational fishing is allowed.
Regulations apply to fishing gear and the number and size of fish that can be kept. Bag and size limits apply to many species, notably finfish such as flathead and also lobster, abalone and shark.
Report poachers or illegal fishing in the marine park by phoning the Fisheries Watch Hotline on 1800 043 536 or by completing an online report
Now that Council is managing Landcare, we have set up the Rosedale Environment Fund to help manage and restore our valued bushland, wildlife, creek and beaches. Council and Landcare will manage some weed projects and invasive species, but there is much more work to be done in bushfire recovery, environmental management and new amenities such as trackwork.
The sand dune restoration project is our first investment. But if we are to keep Saltwater Creek alive and clean and the bush nurturing our birds and reptiles, we need to be alert to the impacts of development to the west. That vigilance may require funds for professional help.
Your donations will help! The construction of the Yowani steps to North Rosedale beach and the Nuns Beach stairs was only possible because of generous community donations that helped us match Council funding If you’re able to donate, simply fill in your details and pay on the New Membership or Renew Membership pages.
If you don’t wish to pay by credit card – or you want to donate a larger sum, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.