Two Wells & Lewiston Landcare with Mark Webb
I recently attended a Totally Local workshop led by Chris Sands, who has successfully encouraged local communities in Britain to support local businesses within their own communities.
Chris’ concept is that communities can create internal wealth if you value and use the resources that you have on our own doorstep. Our landscapes are no different.
When we plant local indigenous plants within our region we are investing in the future of our own district.
Within our district only three percent of the original vegetation remains with just over half found on the roadside.
With approximately 900 kilometres of roads; or approx 1800 hectares of road verges in our region, a majority of our road sides are home to exotic pest plants including Caltrop, Salvation Jane, Columbia daisy and Boxthorns just to name a few.
To control these pest plants we rely on our council, NRM boards and landholders to cultivate or spray poisonous pesticides to eradicate these pest plants before they contaminate our adjacent lands.
Roadside vegetation is not only visually pleasing it also has positive effects on our economy and wellbeing.
One way to reduce pest plants from growing within our road corridors is by planting native vegetation along our roadsides.
Planting local indigenous species will out compete pest plants for the available nutrients and light and also provide windbreaks, which help in the protection of our fragile soils from wind erosion.
Roadside vegetation can also provide shelter for stock and deep-rooted plants help control the water table, reducing the threat of salinity.
Revegetation projects along our roadsides can also provide significant carbon sequestration benefits for our region (Carbon sequestration is the process of absorbing carbon into living things so that it stays out of the atmosphere) and stored within roadside corridors that are seen as unproductive landscapes.
Several groups have been involved in the revegetation of some of our roads including: TAFESA Roseworthy campus students, Two Wells, Lewiston & Districts Landcare group, Mallala Greening committee and private landholders, each using specific plant species suitable for road side plantings.
These groups have set the precedent of what can be achieved along our road verges.
If you want to help by greening our roadside corridors contact council and inquire how you can participate in revegetation of our roadsides.
Ever wondered what plants to plant in our region, well you need to look no further than the Common Native Plants of the Mallala District booklet.
The booklet, the Mallala District Council Greening Committee and Coastal Gardens Planting Guide, was produced by the NRM.
You can pick up your free copies from any of our council offices.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank TAFESA student Anthony Randell for his insight into roadside vegetation.