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Ilparpa Claypan Buffel Busting – a bunch of friends committed to conserving and regenerating habitat

— by Kate

Ilparpa Claypans has dedicated friends committed to regenerating native plants through weekly Buffel Busting efforts

native grasses at Ilparpa Claypans Intertexta ForestFor several years, four dedicated friends have met regularly for an hour on a Saturday morning to chip out that testy invasive grass species, Buffel, at the Ilparpa Claypans. This foursome has called themselves ‘The Friends of the Ilparpa Claypans’ (FoICP) and have happily started their weekends with some healthy, vigorous buffel busting, banter, and good humour. Undoubtedly these Friends have regularly tended to their physical and mental wellbeing and left the Claypans feeling satisfied and uplifted by their efforts and good company (haven’t we felt the lack thereof in these extraordinary times?)

Recent aerial mapping surveys have shown that buffel busting by FoICP, assisted on occasion by the Alice Springs Landcare Group, have managed to remove 9 hectares of Buffel from the Claypans. The Friends group have particularly focused their efforts on removing Buffel around the base of older trees and shrubs to help reduce the risk of fire damage and destruction. Alice Springs Landcare have organised occasional working bees at the Claypans which have assisted the Friends by connecting the established buffel free areas around vegetation and buffel busting the areas in between.

The results speak for themselves! Freed of the competition from Buffel, trees and shrubs have responded with new and more vigorous foliage, a diversity of native grasses have popped up and many native ground covers and herbs have appeared, flourished, and flowered, which are easily seen in the days and weeks following rain. Removing the Buffel also assists in stopping the spread of fire, which automatically saves other vegetation from fire spread in surrounding areas.

Now however, recent departures of some of the Friends from Alice has depleted the little group of four Friends. Hence, Land for Wildlife is helping spread the word that the remaining Friends are asking for new Friends to join the group. New Friends or anyone interested, anytime, can join in a Saturday morning at 7.15 am for an hour socialising with like-minded people (at a socially-acceptable distance – easy done!) You can then drive away feeling good about yourself for the rest of the week…until the next time!

Get your gloves on, your favourite weed removal tool in hand and come join the fun and frivolity of this buffel busting working group. Turn up at the Claypans entrance gate any Saturday morning just after 7 am, or look for a group of people that are Buffel Busting… and laughing!!

Let’s get the Claypans Buffel free by 2030!

check out the Friends Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IlparpaClaypansLovers/ or @IlparpaClaypansLovers.