Wineries tackle arum lilies
Three of the region’s most iconic wineries are banding together in protecting the Boodjidup Brook from arum lilies.
The Boodjidup Brook is an important local waterway rising just south of Rosa Brook Road and flowing about 15kms to the ocean between Redgate and Gnarabup. It intersects a number of large properties including Voyager Estate, Xanadu Wines and Leeuwin Estate but in recent decades has become a hotspot for arum lilies.
However, speaking as part of Nature Conservation Margaret River Region’s Arum Lily Blitz, representatives from the wineries say they are now gaining the upper hand. Xanadu’s Robert Underdown said working in conjunction with Leeuwin and Voyager presented “a perfect opportunity to smash it”.
“We’re having a greater impact by working together … and I hope the results we’re having encourage other people to get involved,” he said. “We’re in such a good location with the South West being a Global Biodiversity Hotspot and something we should be proud of.”
Leeuwin’s David Winstanley said while weed control was an ongoing challenge, arum lily populations were undoubtedly declining. “This year we’re refocussing on areas that had previously been cleared but are starting to come back a bit,” he said. “Arum lilies love it down there where it’s thick and shaded, but the Boodjidup Brook is really important to Leeuwin Estate and I want to look after it; it’s about stewardship.”
Echoing Mr Winstanley, Voyager’s Glen Ryan said weed control was important work and it was rewarding to see the great results. In fact, he said some areas had been so successful the bush was now regenerating. “We want the land to be left in a better way than as we have found it,” Mr Ryan said. “The biodiversity of flora and fauna is a vital part of what makes the Capes region so special so preserving and improving this makes perfect sense.”
The Arum Lily Blitz is a region-wide weed control program that has been bringing together private and public landholders for coordinated arum lily control since 2019. Funded by the WA Government’s State Natural Resource Management Program, the Blitz provides participants with free herbicide, information, contractor subsidies and other resources.
Nature Conservation Project Officer Mike Griffiths said wineries comprised a large portion of the Margaret River region so it was heartening to see them working together on weed control and conservation.
“Voyager, Leeuwin and Xanadu are big players in the world of wine, but they also have a very important role in conserving the natural systems their wineries are built on,” he said. “By protecting the bushland and waterways, and operating in ecologically sensitive ways, they’re promoting healthy soils, good microbial activity and biodiversity as a whole. It all goes hand-in-hand, and the environmental stewardship role they play in their local areas is showing the way for other land owners and managers.”
For more information on how to control arum lilies on your property, register for the Blitz at www.natureconservation.org.au.