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Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Tweed’s woody weeds make beautiful music

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Pottsville musician Byron Tully Reynolds, gardener Michael Healey, bush regeneration contractor  Todd McIntosh and regeneration assistant Cheyne Warren at Duranbah Beach with what Byron calls the Stingray Didge D14A (key of D with Overtone A).

Pottsville resident Byron Tully Reynolds is making didgeridoos from giant agave stems removed as weeds at an iconic Tweed coastal rainforest site.

The plants were uncovered during a council-sponsored bush regeneration project to restore rainforest at Duranbah Beach Reserve.

Byron has been playing didgeridoo for 26 years and said the bush regeneration project was the perfect opportunity to use otherwise unwanted weeds to create musical instruments.

‘I understand the importance of the littoral rainforest in that location; I really love the bush and would like to see it restored,’ Mr Reynolds said.

‘Making didgeridoos out of traditional material, like timber, is not very sustainable now they are so popular worldwide.

‘In some way I may be able to help restore the rainforest environment and at the same time make some musical instruments.’

Tweed Shire Council’s waterways project officer , Matthew Bloor, said ‘the weeds we are targeting are limiting natural regeneration of native species due to their density’.

Apart from the giant agave, they include ground asparagus fern, umbrella trees and ochna, Mr Bloor said.

‘The aim is to facilitate regeneration of littoral rainforest, which is listed as an endangered ecological community in NSW and critically endangered by the Commonwealth.

‘We hope this highly visible site will help inform people about environmental weeds invading and degrading bushland areas.

‘Council has also removed a large amount of litter from the bushland area,’ Mr Bloor said.

North coast Local Land Services has helped out with funding and spokesperson Laura McKinley said she looked forward to seeing ‘the improved condition of a small but significant remnant stand of vegetation.’

Bush regeneration works were undertaken by Todd McIntosh of local contractor Virida Sylvis.

Tweed Council will undertake follow-up weed control and monitoring at the site after the completion of the funded project at the end of May this year.

The program is a joint project of Tweed Shire Council, North Coast Local Land Services, Northern Landcare Support Services and Landcare.


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