Children Nurture Nature at Littlehampton, South Australia
By Angela Cullen, Bush For Life Regional Coordinator
This article is part of a series kindly provided to us by Trees for Life.
Coppin’s Bush, Littlehampton, is the latest addition to the Bush For Life sites in the District Council of Mount Barker.
The four hectare remnant of South Australian Blue-Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp leucoxylon) open woodland site was established as a flora and fauna reserve in 1979 and became a Bush For Life (BFL) site in August last year.
This old quarry site, where old-growth blue-gums were once felled and the understorey cleared, now contains at least 114 native plant species. It is a special place with a walking trail where the community can come and enjoy the local wildlife and see what plants existed in the area before the land was cleared for agriculture, industry and housing.
Trees For Life began contract bushcare work on the site in 2006. Our work has included the primary clearance of gorse, broom, sweet pittosporum, cotoneaster, Cootamundra wattle, hawthorn, bridal creeper, watsonia and ivy across the entire reserve, and large areas of periwinkle have been controlled. Cocksfoot, pentaschistis, phalaris and perennial veldt grass has also been treated. This has allowed for the substantial regeneration of native bushland plants and has also significantly reduced the bushfire fuel load.
One advantage of the Coppin’s Bush site is that it came with a ready made group of carers - a ‘Friends’ group which consists of a few local residents along with staff and students from the nearby Littlehampton Primary School. A BAT earlier this year enabled BFL staff and volunteers to work alongside school students and staff in continuing the follow-up treatment of gorse and broom.
I am delighted with the teachers who take the time to bring the children into the bushland where they learn about local flora and fauna and its associated threats, as well as participating in its care. Helping the children understand and appreciate the natural world - and allowing the bush to imprint itself upon them - will help ensure that areas of bushland such as this will survive and thrive.
If you are interested in helping care for this or other sites within BFL, phone 8406 0500 and speak to Emma or email firstname.lastname@example.org