Worth its salt

Bayswater mayor Dan Bull and Friends of Maylands Samphires’ Jo Bower.

A 10-year plan to rid the Maylands Samphire Flats of exotic weeds aims to protect its long-term future. 

The salt marsh is federally listed as a threatened ecological community. 

The Friends of Maylands Samphires have already been beavering away since 2012 pulling out invasive species and revegetating the riverfront with natives like samphires and saltbushes that protect the ecosystem. 

Climate change

FoMS member Jo Boyer says they were pleased Bayswater council funded the 10-year management plan to further guide their work.

The plan’s part of Bayswater’s overall push to restore its 11km stretch of foreshore and prepare for any effects of climate change.

Like Berringa Park Wetlands which got its 10-year plan in August, restoring the flats is a complicated task. The 25-odd invasive species need a variety of specialised methods to remove them. Wild gladiolus has to be cautiously sprayed with herbicide because pulling it out physically spreads the cormels around and only leads to more of the stuff. Giant reed needs to be removed from upstream first, since it propagates downstream, and there’s many other peculiarities about how to tackle couch grass infestations and sour fig forests.

Along with weed removal and native propagation, a crushed limestone path will need to go in as a buffer to keep virulent lawn from encroaching on the samphires.

Ms Bower says: “Maylands Samphire Flats is a very special site with four main samphire species, and the FoMS is very pleased to have the management plan to guide future conservation work.

“The samphire plants provide food and shelter for insects and small animals which then feed a great variety of bird life. The plants are also good filters of pollutants and nutrients like phosphates and nitrates, preventing them from entering the Swan River.”

The clearing and planting will be done in six zones, with the last added a patch of grass which is usually too boggy for the city’s mowers to deal with and could provide a buffer if the river levels rise because of climate change.

Correction: Last week we said the Maylands Samphires also work at Wright Reserve, but they actually stick to the flats around Clarkson Reserve.

by DAVID BELL

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