In March 2018, the Friends of Trigg Beach became aware that the State Government had purchased a vacant block of land at Trigg Beach a few metres from the famous Trigg Point. A privately owned beach house, one of three built in the early years of the last century, had been demolished and the block of land had been cleared.
We were determined that this land should be restored and revegetated given its close proximity to the shoreline, and that it not suffer the same fate as one of the other blocks that had been made into a car park. The remaining original beach house is still occupied and is heritage listed.
We contacted the WA Department of Planning, Lands & Heritage which had acquired the land, and arranged an on-site meeting with their officers and our group and representatives from the Friends of Trigg Bushland, the Wildflower Society of WA, and Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare.
It was with great relief that the Department representatives assured us that a decision had been made to restore and revegetate the land, returning it as close as possible to its natural state. We were all keen to see this happen as soon as possible.
A plant list was prepared, and the Department said it would work with the City of Stirling to ensure that all plantings were of local provenance. A plant list was sent to each of the community groups for comment and the planting was to commence following the first winter rains.
Common coastal species such as Acacia cyclops (Coastal wattle), Scaevola crassifolia (Thick leaved fanflower), Rhagodia baccata (Berry salt bush), Olearia axillaris (Coastal daisy bush) and Spyridium globulosum (Basket bush) were on the plant list.
The sandy block was prepared, weeds removed, and hundreds of seedlings were planted, with varying survival rates through the hot summer of 2018/19. Replacement and new plantings have occurred over the last three years, and the stakes and plastic protection has now been removed, revealing a high degree of success in the harsh coastal conditions. The on-groundwork has been carried out by the Department’s Field Management staff.
Our group has continued to monitor the site and liaised with the Department regarding the progress of the plantings and the elimination of emergent weeds. There is no water on site, so the aim is for the plants to become established without dependence on reticulation. A recent visit has confirmed that this has been a successful strategy and the restoration of coastal vegetation and habitat on this site is continuing apace, despite record hot temperatures through the 2021-22 summer.
Congratulations go to the staff at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage for acquiring the land and consulting with the local community about its future. The revegetation techniques using a mix of local trees, shrubs and ground covers by the Field Management workers has resulted in a successful restoration project.
This restoration project, a collaborative effort between State Government and local conservation groups, may represent a model for similar undertakings along the metropolitan area coastline as the climate changes and storms increase coastal erosion, and coastal retreat becomes a reality.
Author: Robyn Murphy, Convenor, Friends of Trigg Beach.
Feature Photo: Vacant block at Trigg Beach February 2018. Photo Credit: Robyn Murphy.