Do you love nature, but sick of just being a "consumer" of it? Thinking it's time to give something back - but by doing something that makes a real difference, not tokenistic?
Weedwalkers Top End volunteers survey and control (sometimes hand-pulling, sometimes spraying) remote infestations of gamba grass and other invasive plant species, to protect our northern savanna woodlands and monsoon rain forests. We focus on areas of high biodiversity under threat from invasive species, such as (but not limited to) Litchfield National Park - the most popular (highest visitation) national park in the Northern Territory.
For example, in Litchfield NP, Volunteers bushwalk and camp in the Tabletop and Tableland Ranges - generally pristine, weed free areas including the park's highest biodiversity sites and most-visited tourist destinations (including Florence, Wangi, Tolmer Falls, Tableland Falls, Central Valley, Surprise and Walker Creeks).
Yet gamba and mission grass infestations are spreading across these beautiful ranges, encroaching from the infested lowland areas within the park. Such highly flammable African grasses, brought in for cattle feed, now outcompete native plants and steadily convert ancient landscapes into unrecognisable grasslands, metres tall in the wet season and scorched black in the dry - a dangerous place to be for animals and humans alike. You can read the recent Charles Darwin University report on this growing and dire threat to Litchfield National Park, it's plants and animals and it's tourism industry here. This is also beginning to be case for other biodiverse areas across the Top End.
By surveying and controlling smaller, remote gamba infestations in areas inaccessible by vehicle, volunteers free up rangers or other land managers, Gamba Army crews and contractors to focus on the larger, more accessible core infestations. This makes the overall effort to protect biodiverse areas more efficient and effective. In return we get to walk though beautiful country, and swim and camp in lovely spots!
Weedwalkers Top End Landcare Group has it's own insurances, safety and emergency management procedures, along with experienced and qualified supervisors. Many of our volunteers have experience and training in herbicide spraying, mapping, botany, bush navigation, remote first aid and other relevant skills. All have trained in how to identify the key "super-weeds" which threaten to transform natural landscapes across the Top End beyond recognition. Some help with spraying (necessary for effective gamba control), while others stick to logistical support, surveying (using an Android phone) and hand-pulling using mattocks.
If you'd like to find out more and possibly join as a volunteer, email the address on this page with your phone number. Many of our volunteers are also with the Darwin Bushwalking Club, and most of our trips are advertised on that club's event page.
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A patch of invasive, eco-transforming gamba grass just off the popular Tabletop Track inLitchfield National Park.
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