In prime flowering times – during late winter and early spring – the Waratah Mills site is sweet with the smell of nectar and looks absolutely magnificent, attracting lots of birds that feed on the nectar and on the insects the flowers attract. – Chris
Waratah Mills originally extended down to and adjacent to Johnson Park and included what now has become the Johnson Park site so, whilst it is still long and narrow it was much longer. It is RailCorp land but Marrickville Council is licensed to use it and IWEG works there under the council’s auspices.
This site is currently maintained by the Sunday volunteer team.
About 70 species of local-provenance plants have been planted here, including wattles, banksias, lilies, grasses, sedges, hakeas, hop bush and kunzea, among other things.
Native grasses and shrubs are now self-seeding and have created an almost complete grass and shrub cover.
The site has attracted Superb Blue Wrens (Malurus cynaenus) back to the area, and the number of insects and small reptiles has increased dramatically in the past few years.
Two dead Long-nosed Bandicoots (Parameles nasuta), an endangered species in Sydney, have been found nearby, so the small local population known to exist in the corridor may now be using Waratah Mills as a place to forage for food and seek shelter.
The old Waratah flour mill, which has been converted into apartments, runs alongside much of the site. Many of the apartments have superb views over both the Waratah Mills site and the Pigott St bushcare site on the other side of the line. Before IWEG began its work both were barren, weedy wastelands.
Volunteers enter the site via the gate in the Waratah Mills car park. Access is also available from an entrance at Terry Road.
Challenges and opportunities
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