St. Andrew’s Flats (Rice’s Gully)

The floodplain below St Andrews, Redlynch.

The revegetation site opened with a large planting to follow on from Rice’s Gully in March 2010. Further large scale plantings throughout 2012 were undertaken by Treeforce and Cairns Regional Council. This has led to a fragmented set of revegetation plots due to a range of disparate projects and focus groups requesting short term involvement.

The habitat is a good candidate to for improvement, as a regional ecosystem 7.3.23 Riverine wetland or fringing riverine wetland. Vegetation Management Act class – Endangered(November 2009). Biodiversity status: Endangered.

The area is also in a zone of flood prone land which will gain sediment catchment potential, assist in flood mitigation and erosion control. It is essential that Treeforce gains assistance in joining these plots together as the area will be a significant gain to floodplain habitat once completed.

The project will aim to engage the Redlynch local community through letterbox drops, engaging the school community and through requests of assistance through CAFNEC and Treeforce volunteer groups. We have also received a pledge of assistance from council in assisting with weed control issues.

The blocking up of a fragmented habitat will have rapid flow on benefits for the local bird and animal life in the area. Flow on effects of erosion control and the removal of a source of weed seed will benefit the greater area over time, as root systems increase and canopy closure occurs.

The trees used in all plantings have been selected as appropriate coloniser and secondary succession species for this area. Rapid recruitment of further native species is expected through the coming years due to a close proximity to established rainforest.

The planting is expected to see large biomass gains in the first year from planting. We have seen in previous similar plantings that after 1 year, plants will continue to need weed control, but may get to a height of 12 feet or so.

This project is set to restart in earnest with the 2014 planting season.