During the university holidays in July, a group of six volunteers ventured to Brampton Island for a week of conservation with Wild Mob. The group was a mixed bunch with Australian University students, an international exchange student from the UK and a Gold Duke of Edinburgh participant and his father.
It was an early start for the group and this turned out to be a good thing as the wind came up strong just after we got to the island and was due to stay in for the whole week. As the weather was not favourable for the beach activities we moved much of the program inland or to the other side of the island. The camp was set up further from the beach than normal to get some shelter behind the beach scrub, extra tarps were set up around the kitchen to provide some more relief from the wind. We did our normal 5-6 hours of weeding for the week in a nice sheltered sunny area and huge progress was made with such a small team. At the end of the week over 170kg of invasive weeds were removed.
The day spent walking around the island was said to be the highlight by the volunteers. We went to Dinghy Bay to clean up the plastic on the beach. After all the wind we had that week the beach was looking as bad as we have seen it. About 15kg of plastic was picked up in 35 minutes and there was plenty more where that came from. Once the long walk to the peak was completed the 360-degree views were the highlight for all. Seeing the different ecosystems while on the walk and how the whole island needs help to recover from the invasive species had a huge impact on the volunteers.
Snorkelling was put on hold until the very last minute to hope for a change in the weather. The wind did abate slightly so we scheduled a high tide snorkel, we saw sharks and stingrays but the turtles we had seen in the day’s prior eluded us in the reduced visibility. The weather on the last day saw the wind drop considerably with a sigh of relief from all. All in all everyone had a great time and enjoyed the experience they had on the island.