With cooler weather arriving, Nature Conservation Margaret River Region is gearing up for native planting season – and volunteers are needed to lend a hand!

A series of revegetation busy bees is coming up, starting with a coastal care session this Sunday, April 2 from 10am-12noon with brushing at Gnarabup Headland. Meet at Ocean View Rd carpark, with free coffees for volunteers courtesy of the White Elephant Beach Café and morning tea thanks to Margaret River Hampers.

Then, there are two more dates for the diary with important ongoing revegetation work to create habitat for Western Ringtail possums along the banks of the Margaret River. The first is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 from 10am-12noon, with volunteers asked to park at 108 Ashton St and follow the adjacent trail down to the river. The second is Thursday, May 4 from 10am-12noon at Kevill Rd River Reserve (park at the carpark opposite Waterfall Cottages at 211 Kevill Rd and follow the signs from there to the planting site).

Morning tea will be provided, but please bring along a water bottle, sun protection and gloves if you have a pair. Long pants are also recommended. Interested volunteers can RSVP by contacting Nature Conservation’s Western Ringtail project officer Lauren Scanlon at lauren.scanlon@natureconservation.org.au

Work has been ongoing at the Ashton St site for several years thanks to the hard work of volunteers, and the results are looking good. “This planting site is going so well, yet we still have plenty of work to do to prepare the site for the winter storms,” says Lauren. “We will re-stake and stabilise bags, protecting the seedlings from the cold, and remove bags that are no longer needed. Bags will then be reused in this year’s winter planting site along the Wooditjup Bilya foreshore.”

The last busy bee at the site was in December last year when volunteers helped weed, water, bag and stake several hundred  plants to ensure they survived the summer. The revegetation work is vital to protect the cute but declining endemic possum species, with research predicting Western Ringtails could be extinct within 20 years if their habitat continues to decline.

“It’s so good to see so many people come along and get involved to help protect our native plants and endangered possums. These busy bees are not only great for the environment – they’re fun and rewarding, building community and connections,” says Lauren.

This project is delivered by Nature Conservation through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with South West Catchments Council, and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River through the Environmental Management Fund.