Yallingup, Cape to Cape volunteers working to fight invasive weed

Peter Lurie and Heather Sandford from the Yallingup LCDC. Photo: Taelor Pelusey
Peter Lurie and Heather Sandford from the Yallingup LCDC. Photo: Taelor Pelusey

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region is praising volunteers for their dedication to controlling arum lilies in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, with their work already totalling hundreds of hours ahead of year three of the Arum Lily Blitz.

Arum lilies have been gradually encroaching deeper into the park, but thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers and the coordinated and sustained approach of the three-year Blitz, the tide is finally turning.

Nature Conservation Project Officer Genevieve Hanran-Smith said volunteers from groups like Yallingup LCDC and the Friends of the Cape-to-Cape Track were playing a powerful part in arum lily control, which was demonstrated by their outstanding results over the past two years.

"The Blitz is a coordinated approach across all land tenures and the reason it's been so successful is because of the sheer diversity of individuals and agencies involved," she said.

"It's a testament to peoples' commitment to the land and their dedication to supporting biodiversity and natural habitats across the region."

Yallingup LCDC spent 284 hours spraying around Yallingup last year.

This work was made possible by a mammoth mapping effort in 2018 and preliminary spraying in 2019.

Members Heather Sandford and Peter Lurie agreed volunteers offered strength in numbers and were able to focus their efforts in a way that yielded very visible results.

"We can be particularly careful; we can take our time, be specific about where we're spraying and target the weed itself," Ms Sandford said.

"It's encouraging to see how big a difference we can make and the diversity in those areas coming back.

"It also helps watching other groups working around us having big successes as well."

Another important group contributing to the Blitz is the Friends of the Cape-to-Cape Track, which undertook 152 volunteer hours over the past two years.

"We all felt it was very successful and satisfying, and our members will be looking forward to checking sections and doing more control this year," member and former president Jane Scott said.

The Arum Lily Blitz provides participants with free herbicide, easy-to-follow instructions, and other invaluable resources.

Supported by $340,360 in funding from the WA Government's State Natural Resource Management Program, the Blitz's goal is to reclaim native habitat from the arum lily, which chokes native vegetation, reduces the availability of food for wildlife and threatens biodiversity.

To register, visit natureconservation.org.au