Volunteers landcarers are outraged over the latest spate of destruction in coastal dunes and foreshore reserves along the coast.
At Fingal Head over the long weekend, a stand of 50-year-old Pandanus trees in the sand dunes on main beach were hacked down by someone using a small chainsaw and piled on the beach as a windbreak for a fire.
At Brunswick Heads late last month, someone used an axe to cut down several rare native trees in a foreshore Crown reserve that is maintained by local landcarers.
‘Locals are devastated by this latest destruction,’ Fingal Head Community Association president Dawn Walker told Echonetdaily.
‘We have already distributed leaflets today to gather information to identify the vandals, who have a complete disregard for their beautiful environment which is why they were there in the first place,’ Ms Walker said.
‘These Pandanus trees hold the dunes together, so it’s a worry. Council rangers have inspected the damage and they’re concerned about erosion. Some large branches were hacked off the trees, which rangers said may be able to be replanted to see if they can take hold.’
Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare co-ordinator Nadia de Souza Pietramale told Echonetdaily one of the trees chopped down in the 4.5-hectare Crown reserve in Brunswick Heads was a Dubosia (soft corkwood), of which there were only three there.
‘An Acacia Saligna also was cut down, pushing other natives trees into the ground, including an Acronychia Imperforata,’ Ms de Souza Pietramale said.
‘We are asking the community to help us to keep an eye on the site and report any suspicious behaviour to the police. We have no idea why someone would come and cut down native trees when there is so much bitou to cut down; however, if someone has a issue with our work we would love to hear from you.
‘We are volunteers removing bitou bush from the Crown land site so it does not get aerially sprayed with glyphosate,’ she said.
Fingal Head Community Association president Dawn Walker with one of the lopped Pandanus trees on the beach yesterday. Photo Jeff Dawson