Abseiling to destroy boneseed

An environmental group has turned to rock-climbing expertise to rid Tasmania’s coast of a noxious weed.

Boneseed is a South African plant that has infested large parts of the state, including the north, east and south coasts.

Bush regenerators at Dodges Ferry, east of Hobart, are using abseiling equipment to remove the last vestiges of the weed from a cliff face.

The project’s manager, Sandy Leighton, says boneseed a weed of national significance.

“It’s one of those 20 weeds because of its invasiveness, its impact on all of the biodiversity that we have around our coastal areas and also its potential to keep spreading. So it’s very very easy to spread,” she said.

Ms Leighton says clearing the cliff is essential to eradicate the invasive weed.

“The stuff on a cliff, although it grows slower, it does produce seed and the birds again can transplant it or transport it ’round.

“So if we do work in reserves or in areas to clean up the boneseed, we really need to pick up all of the plants.”