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Simmos Beach: from illegal dumping ground to iconic swimming spot

Long before it became one of Sydney’s iconic inland swimming holes and renamed Simmos Beach, the area around it was mined for sand and gravel.

This was the 1950s and ‘60s and it was originally named after local miner Bob Simmonds.

It was later used as an illegal dumping ground, before being cleaned up by Campbelltown Council and opened as a public reserve in 1986.

Now a funding grant of $51,000 has been awarded to council that will improve the water quality and flow at the popular river bathing spot near Macquarie Fields.

An 876 metre length of creek upstream from Simmos and an area of land encompassing 4.14 hectares of bushland will be targeted in the clean up and regeneration work that will rehabilitate the ecosystem.

Council secured the funding from the NSW Environmental Trust and will use it to carry out minor drainage work, remove dense weed, plant local flora and restore the natural flow of the waterway.

“Generations of families have enjoyed a swim at Simmos Beach, which is one of Sydney’s unique environmental treasures,” says Mayor George Brticevic.

“The work that will be done will ensure that it, and the area surrounding it, remains both a viable and attractive place for people to visit and use, and also that we are preserving and fostering the natural environment,” he said.

There is much more to the Simmos Beach area than swimming: it is also home to numerous endangered, vulnerable or threatened animals, birds and plants, including the Cumberland Plain land snail, the nodding geebung and the grey-headed flying fox.

Bushcare and weed clearance will improve the ecosystem and environmental assets within the Simmos Beach catchment running through Fifth Avenue Reserve and Loftus Reserve at Macquarie Fields, reducing weed invasion from the creek.

The project works will be completed over three years, starting this month and wrapping up by October 2021, and overseen by council’s open space – natural areas team in collaboration with Georges Riverkeeper.

If residents have further questions regarding the project, council will be holding an information session on May 7, 5pm – 6pm at Loftus Reserve, Fifth Avenue, Macquarie Fields.

If residents are interested to know more about the project or how they can join the Simmos Beach Bushcare group, they can visit council’s website or call 4645 4490 to speak to council’s environmental protection officer.

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