Volunteers needed for annual Swamp Fest planting day at Mount Compass

PLAY A ROLE: Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu Wrens are endangered and need protection. Photo: Martin Stokes.
PLAY A ROLE: Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu Wrens are endangered and need protection. Photo: Martin Stokes.

Volunteers are needed for the annual Swamp Fest planting day at Mount Compass.

The event is held each year at Stipiturus Conservation Park to plant seedlings of the Mount Compass oak-bush and other native species and restore the habitat of the endangered Mount Lofty Ranges southern emu-wren.

The park is home to one of the Fleurieu Peninsula's last remaining large swamp ecosystems.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Volunteer Support Officer Rachel Godoy said 115 people took part last year and planted an incredible 8000 seedlings.

"This year we hope to plant about 4000 seedlings and we'll be putting in tree guards as well," she said.

"We couldn't do this work each year without the fantastic support we get from volunteers.

"For eight years now we've been holding these planting days to help re-establish habitat for a range of birds and animals.

In addition to the tiny emu-wren, the park has another 20 threatened plants and animals, including the southern brown bandicoot.

With less than one per cent of the permanent wetlands of the Mount Lofty Ranges remaining, the swamps of the Fleurieu Peninsula are nationally listed as a critically endangered ecological community.

Participants need to bring wet weather gear, warm clothing and boots, work gloves and a drink bottle. Lunch and drinks will be provided.

The planting day is on Sunday, June 23, from 10am to 3pm. Bookings are essential and can be made at swampfest2019.eventbrite.com.au

The restoration work has been a collaboration between Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, the Department for Environment and Water, the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Group, Conservation Council SA and the local community.

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