Lightning Swamp – A special bushland in our suburbs
Lightning Swamp holds a special place for the City of Bayswater and its community as it is the largest bushland reserve in the City of Bayswater. It is one of the last remaining natural habitats containing a diverse range of native flora and fauna managed by the Council.
The natural reserve is also an important area for the quality of lifestyle of our local residents. The bushland contributes a better weather microclimate for the area, which provides a natural setting to walk and contemplate with only a short walk or drive from your house.
The City of Bayswater and the Friends of Lightning Swamp have conserved and protected this bushland over the past ten years. The following is a brief summary of the bushland, however I would encourage you to come back and visit this web page as we update it regularly with events happening, how you can help and some interesting facts and pictures.
Location and Description of Lightning Swamp Bushland (LSB)
LSB is an area of bushland situated in Noranda, a north-eastern suburb of Perth. The bushland is bound on two sides by Tonkin and Reid Highways (north), the Della Road cul de sac (East), Malaga Drive (west) and to the south by Mathews Close which provides the only entry into the area.
The total area of LSB is 71.3 hectares, comprising of natural bushland, damplands and wetlands.
An open stormwater drain traverses the length of the site, draining into an ephemeral wetland area at the eastern end of the bushland. There is also a Conservation Class 4 perched wetland in the north-east corner of the bushland which can contain some water all year round.
Current Status of Lightning Swamp Bushland
LSB is vested to the City of Bayswater and is an A Class Reserve.
LSB was reserved for parks and recreation in 1963 as part of the Metropolitan Region Scheme and is also a Bush Forever site. Current uses of LSB includes passive recreation and its inherent value as an area of natural bushland and wetland conservation. It offers a unique opportunity to view and enjoy a variety of flora and fauna still in existence on the Swan Coastal Plain.
The Water Corporation drain that flows through the bushland is for discharge of storm water from the surrounding areas, which eventually flows into the Bennett Brook Reserve. It is therefore essential that the bushland and wetlands be retained in a healthy condition so that they can filter and improve the quality of stormwater leaving the site, and subsequently entering Bennett Brook.
The bushland on the whole is in good natural condition (Keighery, 1995). However, it will need to be continually and carefully managed to preserve its good condition. As well the bushland is affected by dieback (Phytopthora) and this is a major threat to its future condition and health.
Significance of Lightning Swamp Bushland
LSB is an island of natural bushland, significant in size and quality and surrounded by industrial land to the north, and urban areas on all other sides. It represents some of the plant communities that once covered the Swan Coastal Plain before urban development cleared and destroyed vast tracts of natural bushland.
The area is situated on the transition zone between the Southern River Soil Complex and the Bassendean Soil Complex, and as such it contains the vegetation types characteristic of both soil types. Hills of the Southern River soils have vegetation similar to the banksia woodlands of the infertile Bassendean sands. However, vegetation in drainage lines and valleys of the Southern River Complex is characterised by forests of Marri, Wandoo and Flooded Gum. Only a small proportion of Southern River Complex vegetation type remains uncleared on the Swan Coastal Plain the majority having been cleared for agriculture or development.
The proportion remaining undisturbed of the broad vegetation category in which this site belongs was 17% in 2000. Within this broad group it is likely that specific subcategories of vegetation are even rarer. Two examples of threatened lower groupings at LSB are the Banksia illicifolia woodland and the perched wetland.
How are we protecting the bushland
The City of Bayswater supports the restoration works of the Friends of Lightning Swamp Bushland. The friends group and the City of Bayswater have a unique relationship in jointly managing the bushland over the last ten years and Council is supportive of the tireless work and effort of the group.
Some of the restoration works the Friends of Lightning Swamp and City of Bayswater have undertaken at the reserve include:
• Perimeter fencing of the reserve to prevent illegal off road vehicles & motorbikes.
• Installation of 3.6 kms of limestone track to encourage people to walk or ride in the bushland while protecting the precious fauna and flora.
• Community restoration of the 5 hectare old farm site established in 1933.
• Planting over 45,000 native seedlings in the reserve.
• Dieback mapping, isolating prone areas & developing a dieback management plan.
Some of the restoration activities in the bushland which will be undertaken this year include:
• Weed control;
• Dieback control;
• Installation of a large boardwalk beside the eastern wetland; and
• Environmental studies and surveys.
The Lightning Swamp Bushland Management is currently being reviewed, however for a general overview of the bushland you can read the 2002 management plan attached. Lightning Swamp Bushland Management Plan
If you would like to find out more about the bushland or interested to join the Friends of Lightning Swamp you can contact:
Mr John Williams President, Friends of Lightning Swamp 9275 7338.
Mr Jeremy Maher Environmental Coordinator, City of Bayswater 9272 0622.