Sydney Park with Conservation Volunteers Australia

This is the blog of Mark Wordsworm, the travelling worm. I’m a 25-year-old bookmark and can proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC).

Today’s travel notes

The TC, bless her cotton socks, occasionally gets a bee in her bonnet about conservation, and goes out pulling up weeds with a group of like-minded souls. Today we went to Sydney Park, in the inner city area of Sydney. We joined a group of 15 volunteers hosted by Conservation Volunteers Australia.

My impressions? Hard work, but the volunteers loved it. Many of them go out once a week or more to look after sites around Sydney.

The book I’m in

Hotel du Barry, by Lesley Truffle. A delightful romp through the streets of London, with more than a glimpse of the dark side of life.

Travel tip

Take a hat and plenty of water.

The photos

Me at the old brickwork kilns in Sydney Park:

Sydney Park

This row of kilns is near the corner of Sydney Park Road and King Street, near St Peters railway station:

Sydney Park kilns

The chimneys from the old brickworks are an imposing sight:

Sydney Park chimneys

Slopes and skylines are a characteristic of Sydney Park:

Sydney Park skylines

Down to the business of the day: bush conservation. These were the TC’s tools today:

Bush conservation tools

A handy tip from one of the seasoned volunteers: hang your bag on a branch, or you’re likely to find the ants have eaten your lunch:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

The volunteers wore bright yellow vests:

Bush conservation outfit

The bright outfit makes people easier to spot when out in the bush:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

The group’s task today was to pull up weeds. Conservation Volunteers Australia and the local council cleared this site a few months ago (it was a mess of grass and weeds), covered it with Sydney sandstone to provide a good base for native plants, then planted a number of bushes and ground cover. The aim is to restore the area with mid-height vegetation, to provide food and homes for small birds and other creatures.

The new plantings are growing well. Spot the conservationists:

Bush conservation in Sydney Park

But things are not all good. Meet the enemy! Fleabane is one of the non-native plants the group wants to eradicate. This one was a large specimen, about four feet high. The TC wrestled with it for quite a few minutes, employing mattock and brute strength to pull it out by the roots:

Fleabane

Another baddie bites the dust. Kikuyu grass. The TC found it very satisfying to pull these long strands of grass up from amongst the native bushes:

Kikuyu

And now for the goodies. This is a tea tree (Leptospermum):

Tea tree

More tea tree, intertwined with a pink-flowered something:

Tea tree

A colourful fly enjoying tea tree nectar:

Colourful fly enjoying tea tree nectar

This Dianella caerulea has bright blue flowers, and eventually blueish purple berries that are edible. The TC, bless her soul, delights in plucking them straight from the garden and popping them in her mouth:

Dianella caerulea

There was a lot of this yellow-flowered bush. The TC doesn’t know the name of it:

Yellow-flowered bush

A profusion of yellow:

Yellow-flowered bush

A hardy white flower, the name of which currently escapes the TC and me:

White daisy-like flower

A rare shot of the TC photographing some grass. Note the hat!

Grass flower

The TC isn’t sure if this is a fossilised leaf or just a pattern in the sandstone rock:

Fossilised leaf in sandstone?

That’s all for today, folks.

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