Dozens of locals keen to care for nature turned out to see the unveiling of an art installation made from hundreds of recycled plastic bottles near the Old Settlement and Barrett St Reserve on Sunday.

Titled “Insidious”, the installation is 150m long with hundreds of trumpet-like flowers made from recycled plastic drink bottles, and is designed to boost awareness about the insidious nature of invasive weeds as well as the impact of plastics.

It was created by artists Heloise Roberts and Moira Fearby with the help of the community. Now, the dramatic sculpture has been installed in bushland alongside Barrett Street Trail on the banks of the Margaret River, where it creeps through the understorey, mimicking a real-life weed.

“Make sure you go and check it out this month – there’s also signage and a QR code to learn about the five most common weeds in the reserve, and how you can help!” said Maureen Munro, who spearheaded the project with fellow Friends of Barrett Street Reserve volunteer Peta Goodwin.

Sunday’s unveiling included a guided flora and weed walk with Mike Griffiths, the biodiversity officer at Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, and delicious scones and tea put on by the Margaret River and Districts Historical Society.

As part of the Insidious project, the community is invited to a Friends of Barrett St Reserve busy bee on October 29 from 2pm-4pm, where volunteers will tackle weeds and continue to care for this special spot near the Margaret River.

Artist Moira Fearby said it was fantastic working with the community to create the art piece and raise awareness about the impact of weeds.

Ms Munro said weeds “aren’t a sexy topic but the fact is they have a huge impact on the environment, outcompeting native species and reducing habitat for wildlife”. “The weed identification guide highlights five key weed species in the reserve. Many of them are garden escapees and we’re hoping everyone in the community can learn to identify and help stop the spread,” she said.

The key weeds include Sweet Pittosporum, bleeding heart, asperagus fern, vinca or blue periwinkle, and pandorea which is also known as wonga vine. Insidious will remain in place for several months complete with information and signage, while local schools are also invited to visit the installation.

The project organisers thanked the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Nature Conservation, Margaret River Regional Environment Centre, Office Products Margaret River, Bunnings, MR Refund, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Emily Jackson Design, PVP Signs, the Historical Society, Trevor Paddenburg, Dorothy O’Reilly and Pam Townshend for their assistance.