Lobethal Bushland Park Fire Recovery

Story and photographs by Billy-Jo Brewer (President, Friends of Lobethal Bushland Park)

Sixteen months on from the Cudlee Creek bushfire, and Lobethal Bushland Park is recovering wonderfully. A visit to the park will show you ‘Ecological Succession’ in action. The previously scorched earth is hardly visible in most areas beneath an abundance of vegetation which has germinated and resprouted on cue.

Almost all of the former plant assemblages in the park appear to be naturally regenerating, including the weeds, sadly. Fortunately, the Park has a dedicated Friends Group who work closely with the Adelaide Hills Council and Bushcare contractors to minimise the adverse effects of weeds on native biodiversity.

The Park is home to a number of rare and threatened plant species. Some have made a surprise return since the fire after not having been seen for many years, whereas others have not re-emerged at all. Thanks to some exciting collaborations with the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre, several threatened plants have been grown in readiness for re-introduction to the Park in the hope of securing their populations into the future.

Friends of Lobethal Bushland Park, embraced by the cave-like remains of an ancient, burnt out Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua). This 100+ year old tree was one of the lucky few that escaped logging during the Park’s early history. Prior to the Cudlee Creek fire there were several huge tree trunk remains of old giants that were felled for timber for making wharves and the like, but they were lost in the fire. Now there are very few remains of the giants that once grew in the park.

On your next visit to Lobethal Bushland Park you will see that repair work has commenced on numerous walking trails. Towards the end of this year an exciting playspace re-build and upgrade will be well underway.

If you would like to join the Friends of Lobethal Bushland Park at a working bee, up-coming dates are 9.00am on the 5th and 8th June, and 3rd and 6th July.  Please email lobethalbushland@gmail.com for more information.