Calendar

Jun
15
Sun
Planting She-oak @ Majura Ridge postponed
Jun 15 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

View from old sheep camp (T. Armstrong)

Due due predicted weather conditions the planting is postponed from Sunday 15 June to Sunday 22 June; same time and place.

When: Sunday, 15 June 2014, from 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Where: Meet at the old sheep camp at Mt Majura ridge where the Casuarina Trail hits the Summit track; click on this map to see the meeting point and how to get there

Bring & Wear: Sun protection, sturdy boots, garden gloves and a trowel, if you have one; wrap up warmly.

Glossy Black Cockatoo feeding on she-oak seeds (W.Pix)

 

 

 

 

 

We will be planting Drooping She-oak, Allocasuarina verticillata which is an important habitat plant for local woodland birds and other wildlife. You will be rewarded with splendid views, a sheep camp cake and the satisfaction of enhancing the local bush environment.

Enquiries: ph. 6247 7515 or e-mail secretary@majura.org

Jun
22
Sun
Planting She-oaks @ Majura Ridge
Jun 22 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Glossy Black Cockatoo feeding on she-oak seeds (W.Pix)

 

 Event postponed from Sunday 15 June

When (new date): Sunday, 22 June 2014, from 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Where: Meet at the old sheep camp at Mt Majura ridge where the Casuarina Trail hits the Summit track; click on this map to see the meeting point and how to get there

Bring & Wear: Sun protection, sturdy boots, garden gloves and a trowel, if you have one; wrap up warmly.

 

 

 

View from the old sheep camp, Majura ridge (T. Armstrong)

We will be planting Drooping She-oak, Allocasuarina verticillata which is an important habitat plant for local woodland birds and other wildlife. You will be rewarded with splendid views, a sheep camp cake and the satisfaction of enhancing the local bush environment.

Enquiries: ph. 6247 7515 or e-mail secretary@majura.org

Jul
20
Sun
Working Party @ The Fair @ Mt Majura nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson
Jul 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Profusely flowering Spreading wattle, Acacia genistifolia planted in 2012 at The Fair (W.Pix, 28.06.2014). Local native shrubs are planted in a staged process to replace introduced Hawthorns, Sweet Briar Rose and other woody weeds that are currently growing in the area.

Give native plants a head start! Come and help preparing National Tree Day 2014 and replacing outgrown tree guards.

When: Sunday, 20 July, 1-4pm; give as little or as much time as you want.
Where: Meet at The Fair, nature park access Tay St, North Watson, view this map
What: Preparation for National Tree Day 2014 and replacement of tree guards.
Bring: Sun protection, long sleeves and pants; garden gloves if you have them. Tools and hot drinks will be provided.
No previous experience required, just an interest in making a difference!
Inquiries: secretary@majura.org or 6247 7515

 

Assisted Diversity Regeneration. About Planting at The Fair

 

The site behind The Fair is one of the four modified and heavily degraded areas in the nature reserve where the Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) run long term projects to reclaim and improve grassy woodland; the other sites are the old sheep camp at Majura ridge, the Majura paddock and the associated drainage line, and a cleared section of the west slope east of the Hackett water tank. These sites have in common that much of the original vegetation was cleared and replaced by weeds, suites of native species such as native shrubs and forbs have been lost, and ongoing overgrazing is preventing natural regeneration which in turn benefits the un-grazed weeds. Other issues are the loss of the surface crust that holds soil together, soil compaction, erosion and loss of topsoil which affects the ability of plants to establish.

 

The Fair project site. View to the southeast from photo point 1. (W. Pix 28.04.2014)

 

As with all FoMM projects, work at The Fair began with an initial assessment in 2011/12, taking into account the introduced and native plants, the impact of rabbit and kangaroo grazing, the soil condition such as compaction, large bare areas, and active erosion, and the lack of structural habitat elements such as fallen trees and logs.

 

In 2012 we started treatment of Paterson’s Curse and Saffron thistles at the least weed infested southern part of The Fair project site, removed large Briar Roses in the tree cleared area and conducted a mass planting on National Tree Day 2012. Work in 2013/14 included collecting seeds of native understorey plants on Mt Majura and direct seeding of ground cover species, tube stock planting of native shrubs and grassland forbs on National Tree Day 2013, measures to protect the plantings against grazing damage, help with rabbit control and the reintroduction of structural habitat, many hours of weed control, and monitoring weeds, rabbits, signs of natural regeneration and the progress of assisted re-vegetation (tube stock planting and direct seeding).

 

Grazed Silver wattle @ The Fair (W. Pix 29.06.2014)

 

A great challenge is to replace woody and herbaceous weeds with local native plants under continuous grazing pressure without compromising ecological values of the area such as wildlife habitat or soil stabilisation.

 

For instance Hawthorn, Briar Rose and other woody weeds replaced the native shrub layer along the drainage line in the northeast of The Fair project site. On the one hand, the woody weeds prevent native vegetation to establish and thrive; on the other hand they provide shelter for little woodland birds. So planting local native shrubs that provide the same habitat value for the little woodland birds should supersede and accompany the removal of woody weeds.

 

Blue Devil, Eryngium ovium planted @ The Fair in 2013. the species is intolerant of heavy grazing (W. Pix 24.01.2014)

 

Many species of the native understorey (shrubs and ground layer) do not form persistent soil seed banks and are unable to re-establish without assistance once they are lost from the standing vegetation by clearing, weed competition and overgrazing. We plant clumps of native understorey species at strategic sites and hope that the seeds of these “living seed banks” will spread out and one day will take-over sites which are currently weed infested.

 

The staged process of weed removal, assisted re-vegetation (tube stock planting and direct seeding) and protecting the plantings from being grazed is a much valued contribution of volunteers, and supported by the Canberra Ornithologists Group and the authorities charged with the management of conservation areas in the ACT such as the Mt Majura nature reserve.

 

The assisted re-establishment of understorey diversity improves the integrity of the grassy woodland however this assistance is only sustainable if the Government backs up our efforts and manage the grazing pressure that detrimentally impacts upon the grassy woodland and the native species within this endangered ecological community.

Give native plants a head start! come and help preparing National Tree Day 2014 and replacing outgrown tree guards.

When: Sunday, 20 July, 1-4pm; give as little or as much time as you want.
Where: Meet at The Fair, nature park access Tay St, North Watson, view this map
What: Preparation for National Tree Day 2014 and replacement of tree guards.
Bring: Sun protection, long sleeves and pants; garden gloves if you have them. Tools and hot drinks will be provided.
No previous experience required, just an interest in making a difference!
Inquiries: secretary@majura.org or 6247 7515

About planting at The Fair

The site behind The Fair is one of the four heavily degraded and modified areas in the nature reserve where the Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) run long term projects to reclaim and improve grassy woodland; the other sites are the old sheep camp at Majura ridge, the Majura paddock and the associated drainage line, and a cleared section of the west slope east of the Hackett water tank. These sites have in common that much of the original vegetation was cleared, the seed bank of native shrubs and forbs is depleted, woody and herbaceous weeds were (and still are) plentiful either present as seeds in the soil (herbaceous weeds) or replenished from gardens and public land (woody weeds), and ongoing overgrazing is preventing or severely impacting natural regeneration which in turn benefits the un-grazed weeds. Other issues are soil compaction and loss of topsoil which affects the ability of plants to establish.

The Fair project site. View to the southeast from photo point 1. (W. Pix 28.04.2014)

As with all FoMM projects, work at The Fair began with an initial assessment in 2011/12, taking into account the introduced and native plants, the impact of rabbit and kangaroo grazing, the soil condition such as compaction, large bare areas and active erosion, and the lack of structural habitat elements such as fallen trees and logs.

In 2012 we started treatment of Paterson’s Curse and Saffron thistles at the southern part of the site, removed large Briar Roses in the tree cleared area and conducted a mass planting on National Tree Day 2012. Work in 2013/14 included collecting seeds of native plants on Mt Majura and direct seeding of ground cover plants, tube stock planting of native shrubs and grassland forbs on National Tree Day 2013, measures to protect the plantings against grazing damage, help with rabbit control, reintroducing structural habitat, many hours of weed control and monitoring weeds, rabbits, signs of natural regeneration and the progress of assisted re-vegetation (tube stock planting and direct seeding).

Grazed Silver wattle @ The Fair (W. Pix 29.06.2014)

One of the great challenges is to replace woody and herbaceous weeds with local plants under continuous grazing pressure without compromising ecological values such as providing wildlife habitat or soil stabilisation.

For instance thickets of introduced Hawthorn, Briar Rose and other woody weeds replaced the native shrub layer particularly along the drainage line northeast of  The Fair site. On the one hand, the woody weeds hinder native vegetation to establish and thrive, on the other hand however they provide shelter for little woodland birds. So removing them should be superseded and accompanied by planting native shrubs that provide the same habitat value. Since native shrubs seemed no longer present in the soil seed bank or, if present, are not growing under the existing conditions, planting and protecting the plantings from grazing conserves wildlife habitat and improves the overall ecological condition of the area.

The staged process of weed removal and assisted re-vegetation is a much valued contribution of volunteers, recommended by the Canberra Ornithologists Group, and supported by the authorities charged with the management of conservation areas in the ACT such as the Mount Majura nature reserve.

Establishing native plants under heavy grazing pressure is one of the greatest challenges @ The Fair. Native grasses are not allowed to flower and set seeds (W. Pix 28.04.2014)

Jul
27
Sun
National Tree Day 2014 Planting Party on Mt Majura @ Mt Majura nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson
Jul 27 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Come and celebrate National Tree Day 2014 with a planting party in the Mt Majura nature park. Join Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Municipal and Territory Services for a fun demonstration on How to plant and then get your hands dirty and plant local trees, shrubs and flowers. Bring your mum and dad and friends and make the event a real community planting party.

This year’s event will be the third stage of a community re-vegetation project that started in Winter 2012 in the nature park behind The Fair in North Watson. We aim to replace weeds with local native plants, provide habitat for little woodland birds and improve the overall condition of the degraded endangered grassy woodland in the area.

National Tree Day is a wonderful opportunity for new and old neighbours of Mt Majura to work together, get to know each other and promote the joys of our local bush environment.

When: Sunday 27 July 2014, from 1.00pm to 3.30pm
Volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm
Come early for a fun demonstration on How to plant with Shane Rattenbury, MLA, Minister for TAMS.

Where:
Mount Majura nature park behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson. Access intersection Tay and Ian Nicol Sts, The Fair or via nature park entrance Antill Street opposite Carotel for a 5-minutes walk to the planting site; click on this map to view the planting area and access points.

Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance; limited car parking space at The Fair and along Aspinall Street / Solstice.

What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.

What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one; please label items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.

Enjoy warm-up drinks, Timtams and a thank-you BBQ run by the Majura Mountain Scouts.

Enquiries: e-mail secretary@majura.org, phone 62477517

Contact number on the day: 0435 357 172

Promote the event: download this poster

Register your volunteering. Volunteers can register for the National Tree Day planting on Mount Majura; to register please click Planet Ark Friends of Mt Majura Site.

Check out the species that we will plant: click on List of plants

View last year’s National Tree Day: report and photos

Click the little pamphlet How to plant

National Tree Day Media Release

 

Thank you for support. Friends of Mt Majura  gratefully acknowledge support from ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Majura Mountain Scouts, North Canberra Community Council, Hackett Community Association, Conservation Council ACT Region, Greening Australia, and Village Building Company.

National Tree Day is held annually by Planet Ark which runs the Australian wide project to encourage mass tree plantings and to communicate the merit of trees.

Jan
18
Sun
Working Party at The Fair @ Mt Majura nature reserve behind The Fair
Jan 18 @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Woody debris helps keeping guards in place and provide protection from grazing damage

Woody debris helps keeping guards in place and provides protection from grazing damage

Welcome 2015 with a working party on Sunday 18 January and help care for the young plants at The Fair National Tree Day planting site.

When: Sunday, 18 January 2015, 8.30 am – 11.30; give as little or as much time as you want

Where: National Tree Day planting site behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson; access intersection Tay / Ian Nicol Streets (click on map)

What: Placing debris from cut woody weeds to build caches around plantings and remove and replace outgrown guards.

A group of 2013 plantings

A group of 2013 plantings

Bring: Sun protection, sturdy shoes and body covering clothing.

No previous experience required just an interest in making a difference!

Enquiries: secretary@majura.org or ph. 6247 7515

Jun
21
Sun
Winter Solstice Planting @ Mt Majura nature reserve off Rivett/French Sts
Jun 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Spiny-headed mat-rush plantings west slope

Mat-rush plantings at the west slope (W. Pix)

Come along and get your hands dirty planting Spiny-headed Mat-rush, Lomandra longifolia on Winter Solstice, Sunday, 21 June.
We will plant on the west slope and continue the great work done by volunteers including the Majura Mountain Scouts over many years.

When: Sunday 21 June, from 1pm to approx. 3pm followed by afternoon tea. Please come early for an introduction; planting at the steep slope requires special attention.
In the event of bad weather the planting will be postponed to the following Sunday; please check this website or call 0435 357 172 close to the start time.
Where: Meet at the ParkCare notice board opposite the Hackett water tank off Rivett / French Sts intersections (view this map).
Please bring: Hat, sunscreen, long sleeves, long pants, and sturdy boots
Enquiries: secretary@majura.org or Ph. 62477515

Female Mat-rush with fruits https://australianseed.com

Lomandra longifolia, commonly known as Spiny-headed Mat-rush or Basket Grass, is a tufted, perennial herb with strap-like leaves up to 1m long. The scented flowers are borne on spiny spikes in spring to summer and male and female flowers are on separate plants. It grows in a variety of soil types and is frost, heat and drought tolerant.

The Spiny-headed Mat-rush has many uses in Indigenous Australians culture. The leave base can be chewed for a sweet morsel, the seeds are ground into flour to produce damper, the leaves are used to for weave baskets, mats, strings and fish traps and the roots to treat bites and stings.

The species copes with the harsh environments of Mt Majura’s west slope and some fine examples are the colonies growing on the Majura ridge and closer to the summit.
Spiny-head Mat-rush is one of the few perennial ground covers that are not grazed by kangaroos once it has established.

Reference
ACT Government (2014) Ngunnawal plant use. A traditional plant use guide for the ACT region. ACT Government, Canberra.
Meredith Cosgrove (2014) Photographic guide to native plants of the Australian Capital Territory. Meadow Argus.

Jul
19
Sun
Mt Majura Planting @ The Fair @ Mt Majura nature reserve behind The Fair
Jul 19 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Nest @ the Fair in planted Bursaria rs crop DSCN1781

A Yellow-rumped Thornbill bird nest in a Native boxthorn planted at the Fair (W. Pix)

Come to our planting party in the Mt Majura nature park @ the Fair on Sunday 19 July. Join in for a demonstration on How to plant at 1pm and then get your hands dirty and plant local trees, shrubs and flowers. Bring your mum and dad and friends and make the event a real community planting party.

 This year’s event will be the fourth stage of a community re-vegetation project that started in Winter 2012 in the nature park behind The Fair in North Watson. We aim to replace weeds with local native plants, provide habitat for little woodland birds and improve the overall condition of the degraded endangered grassy woodland in the area.

The planting event is a wonderful opportunity for new and old neighbours of Mt Majura to work together, get to know each other and promote the joys of our local bush environment.

When: Sunday 19 July 2015, from 1.00pm to 3.30pm
Volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm
Please come early for a fun demonstration on How to plant.

Where:
Mount Majura nature park behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson. Access intersection Tay and Ian Nicol Sts, The Fair or via nature park entrance Antill Street opposite Carotel for a 5-minutes walk to the planting site; click on this map to view the planting area and access points.

Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance; limited car parking space at The Fair and along Aspinall Street / Solstice.

What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.

What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one; please label items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.

Enquiries: e-mail secretary@majura.org, phone 62477517

Contact number on the day: 0435 357 172

Promote the event: download this

 

Check out the species that we will plant: click on List of plants

Click the little pamphlet How to plant

Aug
16
Sun
Fair Working Party @ Mt Majura nature reserve behind The Fair
Aug 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Early Wattle, Acacia genistifolia in full flower at the Fair, North Watson (W.Pix, 20.07.2015).

Give the seedlings planted on Mount Majura a head start for spring. 250 native shrubs, trees and wildflowers added to the The Fair plantings this winter will provide crucial habitat for little woodland birds. Until fully established, the young plants require protection from extraordinary grazing pressure and weed competition.  Join in to help layer debris of woody weeds that we cut in the area and to hand-weed pesky Paterson’s Curse around the young plants:

When: Sunday, 16 August 2015 from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. Please come early for introduction and give as much time as you want.

Where: east of The Fair, North Watson; volunteer registration nature park access Ian Nicol St and Tay St intersection (view this map).

Bring and Wear: Sun protection, appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes; we provide tools, gloves and afternoon tea.

Inquiries: secretary@majura.org or ph. 6247 7515

The above photographs of Spiny Bitter-pea planted two years ago at The Fair show (left) a specimen damaged by grazing, and (right) a specimen protected with debris of Hawthorn and Briar Rose that were removed from The Fair project area (W. Pix 31.07.2015). Spiny Bitter-pea, Daviesia genistifolia is a low growing shrub species of Mt Majura’s woodlands which Friends of Mt Majura use at various re-vegetation projects; view this striking photograph of a flowering specimen.

A male Scarlet Robin with its brilliant scarlet breast is one of the many little woodland birds that visit the grassy woodland adjacent to The Fair (W.Pix 31.07.2015). Mt Majura’s northwest slope is the last refuge for small woodland birds on the west side of Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie. Thickets and clumps of shrubs along drainage lines provide crucial habitat for visiting and residential woodland birds.

Jul
31
Sun
National Tree Day @ Behind The Fair in the nature reserve
Jul 31 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

14568880899_b8f0797991_mJoin the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) to celebrate National Tree Day 2016 with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants.

This will be our fourth and final National Tree Day community planting in the nature park behind (east of) “The Fair”.  Planting holes have been dug prior to the event and water delivered so all we need are volunteers to get the seedlings into the ground.

Please come early for a demonstration on how to plant.

What to wear: Garden gloves, appropriate clothing and foot wear, wrap up warmly.

What to bring: Bucket, trowel or small mattock if you have one; please label items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.

Enjoy warm-up drinks and Timtams.

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