The Everglades Landcare Group is fortunate in not only working on the edge of the stunning Blue Mountains National Park, but also in the grounds of the beautiful National Trust Everglades House and Gardens in Leura. The Landcare Group mostly work in the southern part of the property in various remnant bushland areas around the perimeter of the gardens of the property and other private land, within the unformed Council road reserve (a part of which is also an asset protection zone) and on the boundary of the National Park.
We work closely with the Everglades Management, garden staff and volunteers, as well as the National Parks Ranger and the NPWS Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Group, who care for the bushland in the National Park in the vicinity of the Everglades property.
Over the years, the Landcare Group has removed swathes of Agapanthus and Montbretia, as well as a range of climbing and woody weeds. Some degraded/bare areas have been planted with species, which were propagated from seed collected by the Group in bushland areas of the Everglades property.
Several years ago, the Everglades Management was successful in obtaining grant funding from Local Land Services in providing contract work to weed the bushland cliffs and steep slopes on the western side of the property, linking into the National Park. The grant funding also converted a dead Eucalyptus oreades into a specialised habitat tree for microbats.
Unfortunately, parts of the Everglades property suffer from confirmed infestations of the pathogen Phytopthora cinnamomi and the fungus Armillaria, which have caused areas of death for some native areas. The infested areas have been quarantined and only staff work in those areas under strict hygiene conditions to reduce the spread of those diseases.
In late 2019, the Everglades Landcare and the NPWS Prince Henry Cliff Walk Bushcare Groups worked together in an Event to remove a swathe of woody and climbing weeds in bushland areas in the National Park – one area being around the NPWS track entrance, close to the Everglades southern boundary and the other area around the creek near the Everglades northern boundary. Future plans are in train to continue that joint approach.
The National Trust also facilitates a Bushcare Group in the northern and western side of the property. Except for the quarantined areas, both the Landcare and Bushcare Groups link up at the watercourse near the Glades. Most members work in both Groups (twice a month), but that is by choice and is not a requirement.
The Everglades Landcare/Bushcare Groups are part of the Leura Falls Creek and Gordon Creek Catchment Group, where several Bushcare/Landcare Groups work together to improve the Catchment in a wholistic way.
One of the highlights of working in the Everglades property is enjoying the wonderful morning teas – plunger coffee, tea, hot chocolate, often with biscuits or cake – either on the sunny courtyard in Winter, in the shade of the trees on the lawned terrace in Summer or in the dining room on those inclement or cooler days.
More information about the Everglades House and Gardens is available via this link – https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/everglades-house-gardens/
Don’t forget that a summary of your meeting details and Bushcare Officer is available on the main Bushcare site.