Cottesloe Coastcare plant 1,000 seedlings with support from The Seedling Bank - National Tree Day Blog

Cottesloe Coastcare plant 1,000 seedlings with support from The Seedling Bank

Since 1995, Cottesloe Coastcare volunteers have been working to preserve and protect the natural environment along Cottesloe’s four kilometres of coast.

The Cottesloe coastline, located in Perth, Western Australia, is known for its pristine beaches with white sand and turquoise waters. The beach front is a mixture of low sand dunes, native vegetation, and high limestone cliffs. Just south of the main beach is Mudurup cliffs, meaning ‘place of the yellow finned whiting’, this is a significant place to the Whadjuk Noongar people.

Keeping this shoreline beautiful is Cottesloe Coastcare, a community group who work to preserve the natural environment along Cottesloe’s four kilometres of coast. Since 1995, the group has worked to protect the natural areas remaining in Cottesloe. Long-term Cottesloe resident and native plant enthusiast, Valdene Diprose, joined Cottesloe Coastcare six years ago to do something hands-on to help fight climate change. The group is made up of nine core members supported by regular volunteers who attend working bees on the first Sunday of each month.

“It’s a pleasure working alongside like-minded individuals who care about the environment,” Valdene says. 

For National Tree Day, volunteers planted 1000 indigenous seedlings, with financial support from The Seedling Bank. Severely degraded sand dunes were transformed with removal of invasive weeds and the addition of native seedlings to create habitat for local wildlife.

To ensure local provenance, Coastcare volunteers collect seeds from the local plants and the seedlings are then propagated by community nurseries. Seedlings are planted in locations where they are already growing and likely to survive. Hairy spinifex (Spinifex hirsutus) and beach spinifex (Spinifex longifolius) were planted into the two primary sand dunes; grey cottonheads (Conostylis candidans) and dune moses (Acacia lasiocarpa) were planted into the back of primary dunes and secondary dunes. Thick leaved fan flower (Scaevola crassifolia) and coastal daisy (Olearia axillaris) are two of the most common and versatile plants used in the area.

The planting will help stabilise the sand dunes and the native plants will act as a buffer against storm events and help control erosion. The plants will increase local biodiversity, supplant weeds, provide food and habitat for local birds, and add to the native ecological corridor along the Cottesloe foreshore. 

The wildlife corridors allow free movement of birds, insects and reptiles. In the last few years, as the native vegetation has established, volunteers have observed more bobtails, dugites, honeyeaters, and purple-backed fairy-wrens. 

“It’s an absolute joy seeing local plant species and animals reestablish in the dunes along our amazing beaches,” Valdene says. 

The team keep busy with an ongoing yearly planting program: from January to April the seedlings are watered and mulched, from April to August seedlings are planted into holes dug with an auger, from August to September new plants are weeded, mulched, and watered to ensure survival over summer. 

Do you need support with an environmental project?

The next round of The Seedling Bank grants opens 1st December 2021 and will close February 25th 2022. Financial grants will be awarded to successful schools and community groups by providing funding to cover the cost of seedlings. To apply for a grant, visit the National Tree Day website, where you can add an application to your registered planting event. 

Jennifer McMillan

Jen worked as a vet nurse while studying environmental science and completing her master's degree in Journalism. She loves bushwalking, storytelling, caring for baby animals, Australian birds and river red gums. Jen works on the National Tree Day and National Recycling Week campaigns.