Home Community Wednesday is weedbuster day at Woodgate

Wednesday is weedbuster day at Woodgate

Weeding out the nasties! Heather Wieland (left) and Vicki Williams undertake their usual Wednesday morning activities as Woodgate Weedbusters.
Weeding out the nasties: Heather Wieland (left) and Vicki Williams undertake their usual Wednesday morning activities as Woodgate Weedbusters.

The Woodgate Weedbusters are community volunteers who help to keep the Woodgate Beach foreshore free of invasive weeds.

They scour the foreshore dunes every Wednesday and weed out unwelcome plants while also collecting pieces of litter.

The Woodgate Weedbusters provide an invaluable service to the local community and support the work of Bundaberg Regional Council.

A Woodgate Weedbuster with around 20 years’ service is Heather Wieland who remains passionate about ensuring Woodgate’s dunal systems do not harbour invasive species that compete with native vegetation.

“I helped set up Weedbusters about 20 years ago. Our main goal was to stem the tide of mother-of-millions, a declared pest plant that was really taking a hold along the foreshore area,” Heather said.

“Thankfully Council also came on board and they have conducted spraying programs that have greatly stemmed the spread of the plant.

“We have a couple of teams who turn out each Wednesday morning for up to 90 minutes and simply patrol areas looking for pest plants.”

Not so nice for bare feet. This burr is one of the plants the Woodgate Weedbusters including Heather Wieland (left) and Vicki Williams are seeking to eradicate.
Not so nice for bare feet. This burr is one of the plants the Woodgate Weedbusters including Heather Wieland (left) and Vicki Williams are seeking to eradicate.

Heather’s offsider Vicki Williams has been volunteering for about three years.

“It’s just nice to do something for the community in which you live,” she said.

“We’ve also got a pretty tough workplace,” she laughed, indicating the broad expanse of beach and blue ocean.

“There’s a number of plants for which we are on the lookout.

“Scotch thistles, burrs and a plant commonly called New Zealand Spinach are among the ones we are eradicating with a particular emphasis on the burrs.”

In addition to their regular weedbusting efforts, Heather and Vicki recently joined with local groups including emergency services personnel to undertake a Woodgate clean-up day before the school holidays.

“The day is organised by the Woodgate Residents and Ratepayers Association,” Heather said.

“Due to current COVID-19 restrictions we were not able to undertake our annual Clean-up Australia Day activities earlier in the year, but this recent effort ensured we were able to spruce up prior to the influx of visitors.

“We had a team of about 20 and we managed to get out as far as the vet’s premises at 951 Woodgate Road, which was a pretty fair effort.”

Woodgate Weedbusters
Mother-of-millions (pictured in foreground) was the main reasons the Woodgate Weedbusters was established. Council spraying has greatly stemmed the spread of the pest plant, but pockets still exist along the Woodgate foreshore.

Heather said it was always heartening to hear positive feedback about the attractiveness of Woodgate Beach.

“Recently there has been some wonderful feedback through organisations like Trip Advisor and I know the local Holiday Park has also been the subject of some very positive commentary.”

“It’s nice to think that the little bit of time we contribute does go towards that positive image of Woodgate Beach and its community,” Vicki said.

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