Cherry Gardens bushfire recovery
The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board is providing support for landholders impacted by the 2021 Cherry Gardens bushfire, through the State Government’s Catchment Recovery funding. This page features some useful resources to help property owners recover from the impacts of bushfire.
The Cherry Gardens bushfire broke out on Monday 25 January 2021. By the time it was brought under control, the fire had swept through 2565 hectares of rural land and bushland, and burnt down two houses. Since the fire, the landscape has experienced a mass germination of fire-driven weeds including Broom, Lucerne Tree, African Feather-grass, Boneseed and the locally invasive Sydney Golden Wattle.
While the regenerating effects of fire on bushland are evident, the recovery of native vegetation is being hindered by rabbits and increasing kangaroo and deer populations. It is important that landholders work together to address these fire-driven pest plant and animal issues.
Through the Catchment Recovery project, landholders affected by the Cherry Gardens fire can access support to prepare Bushfire Recovery Action Plans (BRAPs). The BRAP is the to-do list for bushfire recovery activities at the individual property scale. Once the BRAP has been written and signed off, Catchment Recovery funding is available for several actions within these plans including rabbit control, fencing of creeks and regenerating bushland areas, weed control, and revegetation.
This opportunity helps fire-affected landholders reconnect with their land, work together with their neighbours, sort through land management priorities, and build resilience to climate change. Fire-affected landholders can access the knowledge and expertise of Landscapes Hills and Fleurieu’s Bushfire Recovery Team to help with the BRAP process.
Free property visits
Landscape Officers are available to visit properties to help work through land management issues such as watercourse management, revegetation, weed management and habitat restoration.
Please email or phone us to arrange a visit.
Managing native vegetation after fire
You can access a number of fact sheets to help you with decisions on managing native vegetation after fire:
- Native vegetation clearance along fence lines – these are Frequently Asked Questions on replacing fences and native vegetation clearance conditions.
- Bushfire recovery and biodiversity – actions to assist native vegetation recovery
- Controlling woody weeds after fire – information on how and when to control bushland weeds and knowing which weed patches to tackle first
Managing weeds after fire
- The first few years after a bushfire represent an excellent opportunity to control weeds, and can save time and money. Key environmental and agricultural weeds which respond to fire, are listed on this page.
- Information on weeds of the region can be found on our pest plants page.
- This video describes methods for controlling woody weeds after fire.
The benefits of keeping burnt trees
- Many tree species are adapted to fire and will regenerate. Although they may appear dead, they could be alive. Find out more here.
- Dead trees also provide habitat for many species of birds, mammals and insects. Trees old enough to have hollows are especially valuable to widlife such as the Yellow-tail black cockatoo which makes its nest in tree hollows.
- Tree hollows also provide habitat for microbats, which help keep insect populations in balance. This is important for agricultural production and the natural environment.
Bushfires can leave many birds and animals without enough tree hollows. You can help by building and installing a nest box on your property. This fact sheet has tips to help decide which species to focus on for a particular site, and what kind of nest box to build.
Managing rabbits after fire
Bushfires tend to have less impacts on rabbits than many other species. As burrowers, rabbits are able to avoid direct exposure to fire and then afterwards, can find themselves, at least temporarily, free from many of their predators. This fact sheet has information on managing rabbits after a bushfire.
For videos on Pindone baiting and information on general pest rabbit management, visit our pest animal page.
Helping home gardens recover from fire
Replacing or restoring native vegetation is one of the most effective things you can do to help the landscape recover from bushfire, care for soil and waterways and support native birds, animals and insects.
Visit our Revegetation information page for resources on which species to plant and where, guarding, watering and shelterbelts.
Keep in touch
* Stories and news on the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board's Facebook page are a great resource to help you care for land, water and nature.
* Subscribe to our e-newsletter Groundswell.