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Community group revitalising Dunsborough’s historical waterways call out for more volunteers

Craig DuncanBusselton Dunsborough Times
Members of Dunsborough Coast and Land Care Danae Plowman, Stuart Ratcliffe and Jenny Buckley.
Camera IconMembers of Dunsborough Coast and Land Care Danae Plowman, Stuart Ratcliffe and Jenny Buckley. Credit: Craig Duncan

A babbling brook flowing out to sea through one of the South West’s top tourism towns is being revitalised thanks to the dedicated work of an environmental group.

The Dunsborough Coast and Land Care group have been working to restore the environment of the coastal town and its surrounding area for more than 20 years.

One place where their work is on full display is running through the centre of Dunsborough - Dandatup Brook.

DCALC member Danae Plowman said the waterways have always had significance in the region. Aboriginal people would frequent the area as it flows from a natural spring, with evidence of ancient fish traps found along the waterway.

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“Unfortunately, over time, Dunsborough has been developed on the creek and the stream has been cleared,” she said.

“Fifteen years ago, the waterway was just an open drain.”

To bring back some life the historic waterway, the DCALC have been out in force over the years revegetating, weeding, and restoring the environment.

Fellow member Jenny Buckley said the tremendous effort to revitalise the river has been possible in no small part thanks to the dedication of the Dunsborough community.

But she said the group’s number have been dropping off in recent years.

“We get good turn out for our planting days, the kids have a great time learning about the local environment,” Ms Buckley said.

“But it’s getting harder I think for volunteer groups, especially at community level.”

DCALC member Stuart Ratcliffe said this year in particular has been a challenge to some of the reserves due to the lack of rainfall in the region.

“It’s a bit heartbreaking to see all the work you’ve put in, and the hundreds and hundreds of native plants you have planted die because there’s been virtually no rain in that six month period,” he said.

Ms Plowman said the mission to restore the waterway and surrounding environment has been a challenge, but it is hugely important to the group that they see it through.

“People come down to Dunsborough for the environmental value,” she said.

“We have all these cool little reserves that are all quite unique.”

Mr Plowman noted the group have also been working to restore habitat for endangered black cockatoos and western ringtail possums.

As part of their efforts, the group are hosting Birdlife WA’s Cape to Cape Regional convener Christine Wilder for a presentation about the status of the endemic bird and their ongoing conservation efforts at the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

The meeting and presentation will be held on May 28 from 6.30pm at The Pourhouse, with the DCALC eager for any prospective volunteers or community members to attend.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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