Berry theft turns into big idea

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - Therese Col­man

What started as a neigh­bour­hood com­plaint has turned into an idea for a Cowaramup street fes­ti­val.

Jackie Ni­chol lives on Dug­gan Drive in Cowaramup and has a mul­berry tree in her front yard.

Ms Ni­chol said chil­dren from the neigh­bour­hood would come to her home un­su­per­vised and pick the berries with­out ask­ing per­mis­sion.

Ms Ni­chol said she was con­cerned chil­dren could hurt them­selves on her prop­erty but she also wanted to high­light ba­sic man­ners were needed.

“In many in­stances, I’ve been gardening or wa­ter­ing and have had chil­dren de­mand I pro­vide them with lad­ders and chairs to reach fruit, yet not one child has knocked on the door and asked please if they could take them,” Ms Ni­chol said.

Ms Ni­chol said she then thought about ad­dress­ing the is­sue in a prac­ti­cal way to ben­e­fit the neigh­bour­hood.

“I wanted to make this more of a spring so­cial for the com­mu­nity,” she said. “I was thinking about a gar­den swap and share, games and ac­tiv­i­ties, with a fo­cus on shar­ing the mul­berry tree with ev­ery­one on our street.

“I’m thinking street games, chalk art, a mul­berry pie-eat­ing com­pe­ti­tion, pro­duce swap and a chance to give cut­tings of our fruit­ing mul­berry tree to our neigh­bours.”

Ms Ni­chol is an en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­en­tist and said she hoped to turn the street fes­ti­val into a fundraiser for Friends of the West­ern Ground Par­rot.

“It’s a crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species found near Esper­ance, and a few years ago their habi­tat was de­stroyed in the fires,” she said.

“Any money raised, how­ever small, would help sup­port this rare and pre­cious bird.”

Ms Ni­chol will plan the fes­ti­val for Sun­day, Novem­ber 5, and wants any­one in­ter­ested in run­ning a stall to email threat­ened­species­

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