This page is here to highlight news of the plant events taking place month by month. In it we will try to show what changes are occurring by way of planting and what weeding we need to do as well as new plants we have found recently.

What’s News at Tumbi Wetlands



Monday, September 7th, 2015

Today I went to see how the control of Crofton Weed was progressing. On the way I realised that it is SPRING and I was not the only one enjoying the warm day.

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Last Tuesday I went to a workshop for instruction about the release of a Mexican rust that will very likely make the control of Crofton Weed a bit easier. Yesterday I released the rust by placing 3 infected plants, prepared by CSIRO staff, into the wetland. Watch here for results on our site.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

During a thorough check of the boxes we observed all of the following:-

5 Ringtailed Possums,
2 Brushtailed Possums and
1 Owlet Nightjar.
Mother and baby were in the nest box near where we found them last October, but there was no sign of the activity of the bees. Another Ringtail emerged from a box nearby and two more were found comfortable within boxes built for Rainbow Lorikeets. In the two latter cases, the hinged and latched door at the front had been undone.

As the kookaburra box had crashed to the forest floor, the occupant(s) maybe the same two brushtails we found in the Wood duck boxes.

The biggest surprise was disturbing a little Owlet Nightjar, we observed sitting in the opening of a Ringtail box. A similar observation was made ate the Central Coast Wetland on the Old Dairy site at Wyong and photos taken were almost identical.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Today we spent some time photographing in the possum boxes
I think we found last week’s refugee possums in another box. You can see some of the photos on this link

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014


Ringtailed Possums

Since the last entry here we have been busy setting up a collection of nest boxes
This morning we found that the Ringtail Possums are still active in the area, but unfortunately the mother and baby (shown here) that we found, had just been evicted from their box, by bees.

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Members of the Bangalow Bushland Management team have been working here for 2 days this week, contracted by Wyong Council for removal of Blackberry and Crofton weed. In those 2 days they have done as much or more than our volunteers would get done in 3 months. They spotted a Ringtail Possum this afternoon.

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Thanks to the good work of Duncan McFarlane, and the grant from Hunter-Central Rivers CMA, we were able to place on You-tube, a short video about the work done by Gavi on the plant uses.

May 11, 2012

A new page has just been added into this website – Aboriginal Plant use at Tumbi Wetlands

Friday, March 4th, 2013

Gavi Duncan returned and conducted another walk through Tumbi Wetlands to tell Aboriginal children and their friends about Aboriginal use of the plants there.

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

With help from Nikki Bennetts, Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare conducted an Aboriginal Ciltural Awareness Day to display the results of the work done learning about how the First People used the plants there. It was attended by about 20 interested visitors who shared lunch together afterwards.

Aboriginal cultural significance

Progress in learning about the Aboriginal cultural significance of plants in Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare on December 16th 2011

Today we walked through the wetland reserve with Gavi Duncan, to learn about use of plants at Tumbi Wetlands by the Darkinyung people. Joanne was there to film it for the CMA record, while a sound recording made during the morning, will enable the reporting of information gleaned, on this website. Preparation of the new webpage is well underway.

CMA Education Grant for Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare in May 2011

Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare has recently been awarded an Education Grant for the purpose of learning about, and sharing with the community through the website and other opportunities, the Aboriginal cultural significance of plants in the wetland.

Deb Swan, the CMA Aboriginal Community Support Officer walked around the area with me, sharing some insights on the way, as well as arranging for traditional descendant Kevin Duncan to make a detailed assessment later.

For starters, we looked at Lomandra longifolia, which is abundant in the area and would have been used by Aboriginal people for weaving baskets etc. Once the basket was made it could be used to hold a collection of seeds from the lomandras which would then be specially treated and later used to make flour for a damper (more later).

Acacia longifolia is a rich source of seeds for an Aboriginal kitchen ($40 per kilo today) as well as having leaves, which when crushed and rubbed between wet hands, does an excellent hand wash job, lather and all. I have no need to go home from a working-bee with dirty hands any more!


Rare Orchid – Arthrochilus

Rare Orchid discovered on January 25 2011

Bush regenerator, Damien Moey, while walking along an access road to another job came upon what appeared to be a leafless orchid stem which he photographed and later realised it was of genus Arthrochilus. It was only 18 cm tall and surrounded by taller grasses and sedges. Here is his photo.



September 11, 2010

A new page has just been added into this website – Fungi at Tumbi Wetlands

August 20, 2010

After this quite wet winter there are interesting appearances, most striking of which was the mass flowering of the Brown Beaks orchid Lyperanthus sauveolens consisting of at least 50 spikes.

Novenber 19, 2009

Heavy rains since the improvements to the storm water drain have shown that some modifications are needed. In heavy storms as it spills over the into the wetland much debris is still washed into the wetland. We decided a small log dam might help spread the water out of its narrow course and trap the debris earlier. We are now waiting on main to test it.

December 29, 2009

The test came in December when there was 10 minute storm that rained 10 mm over the 6 hectare catchment. It almost washed away one of our logs. Some securing work has been done and the water is being diverted quite effectively in the more gentle rain showers.

Logs about 3 m. long had their ends buried on each side of the water course.

3 logs raise the height of water so that it can more easily flow sideways past levees that have built up.

Beginnings at Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare
Towards the end of 2004 a beginning was made when John Eaton visited the site with Ian Robb and plans were made to establish a WyCare group. John gave some advice about how to manage the site and helped set some realistic targets for a group of one working in an area which is really quite extensive.

Assessment of Site – 2005

Problems encountered

1. Council storm-water drain will flood severely in heavy rain: more than 50 mm per day. A lot of sediment is deposited and council may want maintenance access to clear channel.
2. A fire in December 2004 burnt out a large proportion of the site. A large number of seedlings are germinating throughout 2005. Some can be relocated.
3. Loss of canopy around the drain results in excessive weed growth.
4. Obvious exotic weeds include willow, camphor laurel, blackberry, privet, crofton weed, Brazilian fire weed, Fireweed,

This is the site as it was in June 2005:

Notice the overhanging willow, the dying typha rushes and the extensive area of mown exotic grass surrounding the prominent Angophora costata.

What could be achieved in the long term?

A. Remove enough weeds to allow planting canopy plants
B. Collect some seedlings from burnt-out area to replant above area
C. Construct a levee and diversion channel to protect plantings from heavy rain
D. Monitor storm water drain and remove any large excess of sediment
E. Identify as many plants as possible

Site Assessment Review 2007

As for weeds, the willow tree has gone: however there are continuing problems to some degree with all the others named above. To assist with removal of Crofton weed and blackberry, a successful application was made for an Envirofund Grant. Work is proceeding with contract bush regenerators completing their work for this year.

Council storm-water drain remains a problem to the management of the site. A dense growth of Typha now fills across the drain so that when storm rains come the flush of water from some 6 hectares of catchment brings a large load of leaves from the streets which are easily trapped in the Typha. The result is that the Typha and leaves now effectively filter out all the solids in the water, reducing the water flow to a trickle.

This is fine for the wetland as there is a flow long after the rain, but it is not really sustainable.

10 September 2009:

Thanks to Wyong Shire Council and their policy on Streambank rehabilitation, we now have a solution to this problem. See WSC Report on work at Tumbi

We have had great success transplanting seedling germinated on site – most have been Swamp Mahogany or Acacia Longifolia.
We have now completed planting a batch of Maleleuca seedlings, mostly M.nodosa for revegetating the area burnt out in

December 2005.

By early in 2008, a very significant amount of growth has occurred. Acacia longifolias have reached a height of 6 m and the area of exotic grass is much reduced.

May 2013

As for varieties, our diversity now reaches to 196 species of clearly identified plants.

Fires in Tumbi Wetlands Bushcare

In December, 2004 a fire burnt out a significant part of the reserve. Recovery came during 2005 as the following series of photos shows:

Seedling Acacia longifolias competing savagely for survival. Gahnia recovered very quickly after the fire. Lomandras were doing well too.

The above photos were taken in June 2005.

On Christmas eve the fires came again but much closer to our plantings.

Swamp mahogany explodes into flame
Morning after the fire
After the early January rain in 2006
Harvesting Seedlings

After the fires of 2004 and 2005, the regeneration was so extensive that many clusters of plants were available, growing so densely that small seedling plants could easily be harvested for potting and replacement at other locations on the site.

The clayey nature of the soil makes it relatively easy to cut out a small plant, especially after rain, for placing in a tube.