The Kath Dobbie section of Tamborine National Park was gifted to the National Park by the late Miss Kath Dobbie on October 7, 1978. This section, on the corner of Long and Macdonnell Roads, is 3.763ha in area and at that time consisted of mainly relatively pristine rainforest except on the southern side where there was a border of lantana and approximately .5ha of mown kikuyu where Kath Dobbie and her sister once grew cut flowers for commercial production.
The Tamborine Bush Volunteers group was formed in March 1988 to assist the National Parks and Wildlife Service in maintaining Tamborine National Park. It was initiated by Jenny Schultz in co‑operation with District Ranger at that time, John Johnstone. Volunteers work one day monthly (first Saturday) and come from anywhere between the Mountain and Brisbane, the Lockyer Valley and the Gold Coast. The group has no formal structure (no chairman or committee) and is presently co‑ordinated by Len and Laurelle' Lowry from Brisbane in association with Wil Buch, our present Ranger‑in‑Charge. Len and Laurelle produce and circulate a monthly newsletter which advises members of forthcoming work plans.
In 1995 it was decided to re‑establish rainforest on the southern side of "Dobbie's" in place of the lantana and kikuyu. According to the TBV October '95 newsletter “We went around to Kath Dobbie's and worked out a plan of attack." That would have been on the first Saturday in September 1995.
TM Natural History Association donated $1,000 towards the project and in October, a Drott was hired to remove the bulk of the lantana. The November working bee concentrated on removing lantana from the edge of the rainforest and plans were made to carry out the first planting on 3 February 1996. It was agreed that plantings should be dense to reduce competition and efforts would be made to concentrate on local native species.
A thank you letter written by Horwood Cossins records that on that day (3 Feb.) "and despite the heat," 170 trees were planted with Ranger, Bruce Watson, in charge, and the following day a further 50 trees. Horwood's letter states:
"Our thanks are due to our supporters who made this possible: to two new members who came to lend a hand; to members and others who generously donated plants, garden stakes, drums and newspaper for mulching; to the Tamborine Mountain Field Naturalists' Club who donated stakes; to Enrights' Sawmill of Beaudesert who were generous with stakes; to the Chief Ranger and staff of the Binna Burra Section of Lamington National Park for a large number of suitable plants; to the Mountain newspapers for their publicity; and finally to the Tamborine Mountain Natural History Association which generously financed the operation and enabled us to hire machinery for clearing, and to purchase plants, fertiliser and mulch. It is one of the aims of that Association to support National Parks projects and they responded well."
In March 1996 under the guidance of Ranger, Dan Johansson, another planting was carried out and in April, new District Ranger, Wil Buch, was welcomed and we spent another busy day clearing and planting at "Dobbie's". That completed the planting of the lantana covered section and left the kikuyu strip still to be dealt with.
Work was a "wash‑out' in May due to a deluge of rain ‑ over 1100mm for the month and the majority fell in the first four days. This would have contributed to the phenomenal growth in that first year and the overall success of the planting, which now, after four years, is difficult to distinguish from the original rainforest.
In the interim, working bees were held on an irregular basis to clear the weeds from between the densely planted trees. On a more regular basis, Trev Morgan, a long‑standing and dedicated member of the Bush Volunteers, worked outside scheduled work days and sometimes on a daily regime, weeding and watering the original and subsequent plantings. He was frequently assisted by Dawn Vance and Julia Langslow. As planting progressed across the kikuyu area (following herbicide treatment), it became even more necessary to control the growth of ephemeral weeds which inevitably sprang up.
Plantings in the grassy area were done in February 1997 (250 trees), and also in February, November and December 1998. In June, July and August 1999, working bees erected fencing along the Long Road boundary of the park following clearing by Energex the previous year. The latest planting was carried out in February 2000 with approximately 120 trees being planted, and now only a small section on the south east corner remains to be planted. When that is completed, an area of approximately 1ha will have been revegetated.
It has been amazing to see the rate of growth in the area and visitors to the site find it hard to believe that it has all been done in such a short span of time. This has been a very satisfying and rewarding project for the Bush Volunteers and makes a worthwhile contribution to the regeneration of a precious natural area on Tamborine Mountain.