Check out our new Calendar!

We now have a Calendar on the website so you can see what events are coming up. You can access it by either the blue ‘CALENDAR’ link on the left sidebar, or the white ‘Calendar’ tab along the navigation bar. The yellow box marks the current day, and red boxes are the new events. The next one is Saturday 26 March, working bee at the Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site starting at 9 am. Please pop over to the calendar and confirm that it’s working for you. We’d appreciate you letting us know if it’s not working or displaying properly.

Donation enable us to continue to work

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare volunteers are passionate about implementing sustainable land management. We are currently working on 5 hectares of dunes at Brunswick Heads removing Bitou Bush and Glory Lily using very effective chemical free techniques. The results have been even more effective that we could have hoped for. We are supported by Mullum S.E.E.D. inc. which also runs the award winning Mullumbimby Community Garden, but it is donations from local businesses and individuals that enable us to continue our work. We would like to thank The Sunglass Fix for their recent donation. Did you know that you can replace a broken sunglasses lens? Sunglass Fix is a Byron Shire company manufacturing up to 42,000 Australian made lenses per day. They export any model of lens that you can think of, all around the world, for around 10% of the total cost of the original sunglasses. So check their … Continue reading

Local councils still using weed killer glyphosate despite WHO warning it ‘probably causes cancer’

Local councils still using weed killer glyphosate despite WHO warning it ‘probably carcinogenic, said ABC News headlines on February 16th. It was great to see that long term public concerns regard the broad scale use of herbicides with Glyphosate as an active ingredient finally is reaching the general public.This pesticide is the main tool for weed control in use by Landcare, Dunecare, local Councils, National Parks and Wildlife Service NSW, Road Traffic Authority, farmers, etc On March last year the World Health Organization change the status of Glyphosate from 2B to 2A (probably carcinogenic). Please see the article below. Local councils still using weed killer glyphosate despite WHO warning it ‘probably causes cancer’

Privately owned chemical free bush regeneration project

By Don Drinkwater During 1977,  I  purchased the land after 70 years of human occupation leaving a very visible  mark on what was once red cedar tree country. Red gold it was called by the  coastal  brokers, men who paid the red cedar tree getters next to nothing to mill them. Then in 1977, 2 red cedar trees remained.  Don Drinkwater Following the century of the removal of the trees, it attempted to run as a dairy farm, a futile quest when the rain fall averaged out at 2 and a half metres a year. Hooved animals and fragile soils do not mix. I bought into bare and severely eroded hillsides, stripped of all native grasses, with sad skinny cows roaming the scarred slopes. Then, with  half an hour of rain, the creeks would be red with the soil run off. The resident tenants at the time had harvested what … Continue reading

Australia women strip to protest against Glyphosate

Chemical Free Landcare volunteers and supporters strip naked to show their support for an end to the use of gylphosate. Photo ©Trevor Avedissian A group of north coast women have put their bodies on the line, literally, in an effort to stop councils and government authorities spraying glyphosate in their weed reduction activities. Glyphosate, which was invented and is widely marketed by multinational chemical company Monsanto under the name Roundup, was named a ‘probable carcinogen’ by the World Health Organisation in March this year. This action, together with the forthcoming trial of Monsanto at the International Court of Justice next year has prompted the women to take a stand. With ‘I am water’ written on their bodies, the women are bringing attention to the protection of the essential resource from ongoing pollution with herbicides in the region. ‘Our bodies are made of water and we are one and the same … Continue reading

Saturday 25 October – chemical free landcare working bee @ Brunswick Heads – lopping Bitou Bush

Hi all, Saturday, the 25th of October, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare will be in at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve, lopping Bitou Bush on the front dunes, from 9 am till 1:30 pm. Meet at the fire track gate at the end of South Beach Road near the surf club at 9 am. If you come later, walk along the dog walking track to the beach, head South for 50 m and you will spot us. We are on to the last leg of primary work. Looking great. Thanks to all our volunteers. New volunteers are welcome. We have 15 pairs of loppers, so if you have some spare time and want to learn how to restore the dunes using our chemical-free strategy please come and join us. Please wear boots, a long-sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, a picnic and beach gear. More … Continue reading

Working Bee Saturday 29th March

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s next working bee will be on Saturday the 29th of March, from 8:30 am till 12:30 noon, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk along the fire track heading South for 50 m, turn East and you would spot us. We will be there connecting with the land by pulling Bitou and Glory lily seedlings. Last working bee we just found more Pink nodding orchids, but also encountered hundreds of native seedlings tucked amongst the Blady grass. This work is very easy, gentle and an opportunity to connected with the land, meditate and pray for the protection of our water from synthetic pesticide pollution. On Saturday the 23rd I attended a gathering of women in Broken Head. The meeting was part of a international call by the 13 Mothers … Continue reading

Working bee Sat 1 Feb, with new loppers!

Hi beautiful people, great news! Our new loppers arrived. Also this is a remind about Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next working bee will be on Saturday the 1st of February from 8:30 am till 12:30 noon, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Head Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk along the dog walking beach access track, south of the Surf Club. We will be working from the fence on your right heading south. At this time of the year, middle summer, when is to hot for the removal of the mature Bitou, we focus on the follow up work from the primary work done along the past year. We will be working from the fence, heading on the south direction, pulling Bitou bush and Glory lily seedlings. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves … Continue reading

Great news today!

Great news today! The report on 3 years of chemical-free landcare at Brunswick is now available for you to download for free. Click here. Gift funding to Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare: With a vision of making peace with the weeds and spraying love, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare, a project of the Mullumbimby Centre of Sustainable Living and Environment Education Inc., is overwhelmed with community support. The organization has received a generous donation from local resident Angela Bambach and also was chosen to be one of the organizations sponsored by Santos Organics staff charity fund. The funding will be used to purchase for the volunteers good quality loppers, saws, gloves, safety glasses plus a sign for the Brunswick site and a banner. Angela Bambach was recently gifted some money and is very excited to share it with Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare. “Each time I see bush regenerator Nadia … Continue reading

Last chemical free working bee of the year in Brunswick site

The Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s last working bee and Christmas party will be on Saturday 14th December from 8:30 am till 12:30 noon, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Head Road fire track gate. If you come later, walk along the dog walking beach track, look South from the fence and you will spot us doing follow-up work. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water. Morning tea at 10:30 am with delicious organic bananas from Mullumbimby Farmers Market and a water melon from Santos. National Parks is ground spraying Tyagarah Nature Reserve (TNR), including the north boundary where it joins the chemical free site. Please bring a sign with a ‘spray love’ message for us to hang on the sprayed Bitou. Perhaps say how you want the land to be cared for or what … Continue reading

Saturday 19th Oct 8am – meditation bee and Bitou Yoga @ Tyagarah Nature Reserve

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare (BSCFL) has been refused permission from National Park Wildlife Service (NPWS)to implement ecological restoration on Tyagarah Nature Reserve using the successful crowning method to remove bitou bush. BSCFL has used this method in the 4.5ha crown land reserve at Brunswick Heads for the last three years with 90% of the site work being finalised. This completed area has received primal work treatment and 3 summer working bees to follow up eliminating the seed bank. We have .5 ha of primal work left. We have conducted research and collected data which supports the success of our methods. Although crowning Bitou bush method is consider efficient under the Bitou Abatement Plan (TAP), NPWS does not consider manual control of bitou bush in Tyagarah Nature Reserve (TNR) to be the best approach for this high priority location. NPWS together with the Joint Management Committee Arakwal Corporation have stated … Continue reading

Working bee Sat 21 September

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s next working bee will be on Saturday the 21st of September Time: from 9 am to 1 pm Where: at Tyagarah Nature Reserve, at the end of Grays Lane. Meet at the picnic area. If you come later, follow the track of dead Bitou heading North. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, a picnic and beach gear. A pair of loppers is the only tool needed, if you don’t have we have a few to share. More information please call Nadia 0478272300 or go to www.byronshirechemicalfreelandcare.org

Working bee at Tyagarah Nature Reserve

Byron Shire Chemical Free working bee on Saturday the 10th of August , was a fantastic community event with more than 15 volunteers. We cleared 600 square metres of Bitou Bush, gathered, shared and ate good food. NBN TV came to have a chat about our non-violent direct action on Monday the 5th at Tyagarah Nature Reserve. It is important to understand that we are in alignment with Parks and Wildlife’s goal to remove Bitou Bush. We do not, however, agree with their methodology of chemical spraying aerial or ground for TNR. Our letter requesting a meeting and a proposal for implementing ecological restoration at TNR was sent today to NPWS. Our next working bee will be on Saturday the 24th of August from 9 am to 1 pm at Tyagarah Nature Reserve picnic area. End of Grays lane. We will be there chatting and chopping Bitou Bush. I have … Continue reading

NBN News on Tyagarah aerial spraying non violent direct action

Ecological restoration management for Bitou bush control is efficient and will give many young bush regenerators and the community an opportunity to practice an indigenous approach towards landcare. While we disconnect the bitou bush from its roots we connect ourselves with the country, learn about local bush tucker and take back our ability to learn from the country. Resources that are way too precious to hand on to giant corporations like chemical companies. Perhaps in other parts of NSW state and Australia, NPWS does not have a community that is prepared to do the work, however in Byron Bay, it does. Northern Rivers : NBN News Byron’s chemical free Landcare group is at loggerheads with the National Parks and Wildlife Service over its plans to spray…

When does the healing start?

By Iris Ray Nunn   “When does the healing start”? This is the question that local bush regenerator Nadia de Souza Pietramale is sincerely asking the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and those of us who live in the Byron Shire who have done nothing to stop the continual aerial spraying of toxic pesticides on our beautiful coastal dunes over the past decade. “First we mine the dunes, then we introduce Bitou Bush to stabilise the dunes, then we spray toxic pesticides from the air to stop the Bitou bush because it has taken over the native flora habitat, then we deal with the side effects of the poison on our health and the health of the fragile ecosystems in the area sprayed. So I ask, “When does the healing start?” says Nadia. Any day now, till the 16th of August, a NPWS helicopter will drop a herbicide made … Continue reading

A letter to National Parks

To the National Parks Area Manager Byron Coast Area Dear Sue Walker, We would like to say thank you for meeting with us on the 12th of July regarding our proposal to implement the non-chemical ecological restoration method to remove Bitou Bush from Tyagarah Nature Reserve. Thank you also for following up with Yvonne Stewart as you committed to doing. We hope this will be the first meeting in a long-term friendship between the Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare and NPWS. We are 100% committed to healing the land, especially the soil ecology. We are very disappointed with the outcomes of the meeting in terms of your decision to go ahead with the spraying of TNR and your answers to our key questions. We also can’t understand why an indigenous elder would choose to poison the land, instead of accepting the kind hand of the community to implement a non-chemical … Continue reading

National Parks says no to ecological restoration

National Parks says no to ecological restoration At a meeting on July 13th, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare and Save Tyagarah Nature Reserve Facebook Page groups offered an alternative to the aerial spraying of pesticides in Tyagarah Nature Reserve. However, we heard yesterday by email that our proposal has being refused. Sue Walker,  National Parks Local Area Manager wrote in an email, “As agreed I met with Yvonne Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of the Arakwal Custodians, late on 24 July 2013 and Yvonne has confirmed that she supported the planned aerial spray Bitou Bush control program.” Our Group proposed to help do the work on the ground using the ecological restoration principles we have developed, a methodology that will protect biodiversity as a whole.  We would need funding.  National Parks, just in the year 2006-2007, spent a budget of $4 million on aerial spraying some of the NSW coast at a cost … Continue reading

The spraying of Tyagarah Nature Reserve: Pink Nodding Orchid, Banksia woodland and bees at risk

Jul 27 This is fantastic news and we will give Simon all the help that he needs. Now we need to convince NP that, in Byron Shire, we want to spray love, no pesticides. We understand the size of the task ahead to manage the land, however the health of the environment as whole have to considered to support our on specie needs. Also, in case of Tyagarah Nature Reserve we, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare is prepare to help no just by fiscally engaging on the work of removing Bitou Bush, but also in applying for grants to employ local. There is a growing outcry against the aerial spraying of Bitou bush in Tyagarah Nature Reserve for the first time. Apiarists are joining the fight to stop it. Local bee keeper Garry Rogers, who sells his honey at all our local markets from “The Honey Wagon”, is not taking any … Continue reading

Mayor considers ending spraying

Published on Thu, Jul 25th, 2013 in the Byron Shire Local News Published on Thu, Jul 25th, 2013 Byron Shire Council (BSC) has hastened to assure residents the chemical 2,4-D is not used as part of its weed- and pest-control management. Monday’s Four Corners program revealed many 2,4-D products on sale in Australia contained the dangerous chemical dioxin, the active ingredient in the banned herbicide Agent Orange. BSC’s team leader natural environment, Angus Underwood, said it is not used as part of the bush regeneration programs. Council’s parks superintendent, Andy Erskine, also confirmed that it is not used on roadside vegetation, or sporting fields and parks. And mayor Simon Richardson has indicated he supports the ending of all Council roadside spraying programs within 12 months. ‘We need to revisit the debate and see if we can’t move even further away from chemical usage in the shire,’ he said. He added … Continue reading

Landcare Working Bee this Saturday

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare working bee Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare working bee is a good opportunity for the community to come and see how we implemented an ecological restoration methodology, that protects native species biodiversity as a whole ecosystem. We have being working on this site since 2010 and have successfully eradicated Bitou Bush from 4 hectares of dune. This site was on the schedule to be sprayed in 2009, however our group was formed and we asked Crown Land if we could use this land to implement, in Byron Shire, a pilot project of ecological dune restoration, using botanist Ellen White’s crowning technique, to remove Bitou Bush. Our project has being successful with many species of coastal dunes and littoral rain forest self-regenerating through the dunes. Also two threatened species have being found on site since we started. Our technique removes mature Bitou Bush plants in the … Continue reading

Spraying of Tygarah Nature Reserve: alternative offered

The spraying of Tygarah Nature Reserve: Pink Nodding Orchid and Banksia woodland risk At a meeting on July 13th, Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare offered an alternative to the aerial spraying of pesticides in Tyagarah Nature Reserve. We proposed to help do the work on the ground using the ecological restoration principles we have developed, a methodology that will protect biodiversity as a whole. Of course we would need funding. National Parks, just in the year 2007/2008, spent a budget of $4 million on aerial spraying some of the NSW coast (>$5000/km). Our method would be far cheaper than that. I have just spoken with National Parks local area manager, Sue Walker (23rd July) with regard to their intended aerial spraying of Tyagarah Nature Reserve with the pesticide metsulfuron-methyl to ‘control Bitou Bush’. This herbicide goes by trade names such as “Brush-off” and “Brushkiller 600”. Sue Walker said she has … Continue reading

The first baby Scribbly Gum

What a sweet surprise we – Terry Hamill, Stephanie Stone and myself – had on our last working bee, Saturday the 29th of June. While resting at morning tea after some serious Bitou Bush chopping and crowning on a sunny/cloudy winter day, Terry spotted a seedling where we did primary work last winter. For our delight it is the first Eucalyptus signata, Scribbly Gum baby. On a 4.5 hectare site we have 1 mature and 2 juvenile trees of this particular species. So perhaps, one day we will have much more as we head to the climax of our site’s resilience.

Aerial spraying

Come along to a FREE public seminar: “REDUCING CHEMICAL USE ON PUBLIC LAND” Part of Council’s Biodiversity and Sustainability seminar series from 10am – 12pm Sunday 14th July at the Brunswick Heads Community Centre at the end of South Head Road opposite of the surf club. Please let us know if you’re coming: RSVP Toxic pesticides like glyphosate are commonly used to manage weeds on public lands, including sports fields, parks, play grounds, road sides, drains, etc. As independent research continues to point to the dangers of pesticides to our health and environment, it’s time to start talking about safer alternatives available to our community. After the talk we’ll have a guided walk through the ecological restoration area. Bitou Bush aerial spraying proposed for Byron Yes the helicopters are back with toxic pesticides on our shore. The NPWS contractors are planning to spray various areas of Byron Shire coast on … Continue reading