Springbrook Rescue
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Brisbane Bushwalkers

As a vital part of Springbrook Rescue, Brisbane Bushwalkers come to Springbrook at least three times a year and stay for a weekend at the Lodge. The group arrives on Friday with some members coming early to explore Springbrook tracks. All spend four hours digging out Aristea ecklonii (Blue Stars) at Warblers on Saturday mornings leaving the rest of the weekend to explore and enjoy what Springbrook has to offer. Saturday evenings are for relaxing with fine food, quiet music, and a talk on Springbrook Rescue: its rationale and achievements. Volunteers such as the Brisbane Bushwalkers play a fundamental role in Springbrook Rescue.

Burnice (“Burney”) Starkey, leader and organizer ‘extraordinaire’ of the Brisbane Bushwalkers’ “Blue Stars Warriors” — their team name based on Blue Stars, the common name of Aristea ecklonii. Burney is one of the most wonderful and public spirited and enthusiastic people we have met. Her talents are legendary.

Hans Dauncey, the music man of considerable talents including composing really enjoyable lyrics, who
adds such atmosphere to evenings in front of the fire after a good day’s work

Saturday evenings are for relaxing before the fire with fine food, recollections and a lot of laughter.

Music is always an important part of relaxing in the evenings: Hans and Rhea with accordions

Digging out Aristea on cell

Close-up showing boundary of dense regrowth Aristea infestation and after digging out whole plants.

The entire cell cleaned up of Aristea

The full team with the mornings haul of Aristea

The Brisbane Bushwalkers’ Team led by Jim Lydon marking out new tracks on Ankida to facilitate biodiversity surveys.

Lunch at the small waterfall next to Horseshoe Falls at Ankida with Peregrine falcons soaring overhead.

…followed by a solid 4 hours of digging out 120 kg of Aristea Sunday morning (Rhea, the ARCS volunteer coordinator, rear left).

A rare snake-lizard (Ophioscincus truncatus) found at the rear of the Lodge, photographed and then released.

Here is a report from Burnice Starkey from Brisbane Bushwalkers after their last visit: 

The “Blue Star Warriors” strike another mighty blow in the ongoing tale of rainforest restoration. With only 7 volunteers we removed 120 kg of this exotic plant, Blue Star (Aristea) from the property: Warblers, which is threatening the surrounding rainforest. We also found tiny new rainforest tree seedlings. Every specimen found is documented including beetles and blossoms. Rare sightings occur like this legless lizard/skink (see image above).

Furthermore, Jim Lydon and his band of hikers helped survey and lay a narrow trail for future scientific explorations and possibly a special walking circuit for future BBW visits. Recently acquired property: An.Ki.Da offers fabulous views over an escarpment into the Numinbah Valley with a single drop waterfall, pools and creeks. More trails are to be created both along the escarpment and down into the valley. Maybe you can be a part of this major internationally significant ecological restoration project.

Members may recall that I reported that the first team of “Weeders and Seeders” found 20 new saplings. I’m happy to say they are now looking strong and proud. Proof that with a little help nature will heal itself. The grid from which we removed the Aristea needs another touch up as a few have regrown. Nevertheless, the grids that have had our attention are looking very good. The rest of the property (now also part of the park) continues to pose a huge treat, as it lies shoulder to shoulder with the greater National Park.

I personally love the Springbrook Plateau, it’s old Antarctic Beeches, waterfalls, cool shady creeks and multitude of flora and fauna are to me, primeval. To wake to the dawn chorus of Lyrebirds and Logrunners, in a well appointed Lodge, is a privilege. Now I’m contributing to preserving this ancient lineage, I feel a small sense of belonging.”