Wild Reed Project

Research undertaken by Griffith University in the Upper Hunter in 2016 identified that there had been a significant increase in the extent of Giant Reed infestation over time in the Hunter mainstream channel.

The major upstream source appeared to be from the Pages River.

Giant Reed or Arundo donax is very invasive and requires at least 3-5 years of ongoing weed control to ensure any chance of eradication.

Hunter Local Land Services funded a helicopter survey along the Pages River from Murrurundi township down to the junction with the Hunter River in April 2017 to identify all the outbreaks of Giant Reed along the riparian zone.

With this in mind Hunter Local Land Services along with Sky Land Management undertook trials using a drone to spray Giant Reed on a 3km stretch of the Pages River downstream of Murrurundi as a trial in April 2017.

The video was shot in April 2018 and shows some of the shots of this previously treated area.

The trial proved very effective at getting an initial kill and we are now working with the landholder to burn the remnant dead material and ensure minimal follow up spot spraying.

Given the effectiveness of the trial Hunter Local Land Services made funds available in to undertake drone spraying of Giant Reed through the urban area of Murrurundi, the most upstream extent of Giant Reed in the Pages River catchment. This involved door knocking and liaising with Murrurundi Landcare, Upper Hunter Shire Council and 46 landholders to try and get a coordinated approach. All but one landholder agreed to the spraying of the Giant Reed along the banks of the Pages River, adjacent to their properties.