6th December 2023 | Words by Southern Beaches Landcare Coastcare outgoing president Pip Jones. 

I mean this in the nicest way: Southern Beaches Landcare/Coastcare are a bunch of hoverflies.

Efficient, anarchic, occasionally taking naps in daisies - the hoverfly is, to my mind, our true form. We don’t have a hive or a queen, and some of us roll in from the mainland on the first northerly winds in spring - no job is too big or too small - we just keep turning up, and we get the job done.

Image: SBLC working bee back in February 

This year has not been a walk in the park - over a thousand collective volunteer hours were spent on our precious places - particularly Flora Park and Payeena Reserve, the Southern Beaches’ two most significant patches of Eucalyptus viminalis – Eucalyptus globulus coastal forest and woodland. This threatened vegetation community only remains in 4,600 hectares statewide - 0.07% of Tasmania. It’s incredibly biodiverse, and this year we spent so much time hovering around all those peas and lilies and daisies our buzz became a roar.

This has been the year of just getting in and doing it - there is no more time to waste. From Primrose to Lewisham, our volunteers have been taking that responsibility onto ourselves - like the Bradley Method that we champion - year in, year out we build on the work done by those before us, we focus on what is important, restorable and achievable, and we let the bush set the pace. Restoration is a slow game and we push at the margins, not the horizons - bit by bit, weed by weed, flower by flower, we are here for the long run. Just like those ecosystem engineers, bandicoots, bettongs and echidnas (the only engineers that should be allowed in council), that’s how we move mountains.

Thank you for an enormous year of buzzing and poking around in the dirt. It’s been a privilege.