Late Spring Working Party @ The Fair
Nov 20 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Patterson curseHelp with removing protective guards that have been outgrown by their plant inhabitants or go on WEED PATROL to tackle the Paterson’s Curse , Saffron Thistle and other weeds.

Please give as much time as you can spare.

Bring: Sun Protection , water bottle, and garden gloves if you have them. Tools and tea will be provided.

Working party @ The Fair @ Mt Majura nature reserve, meet at nature park entrance Tay Street
Jun 18 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Speckled Warbler, Chthonicola sagittata spotted in the nature reserve by Dusty (CNM)

Give a hand on Sunday, 18 June and help transform Mount Majura’s weedy woodland east of The Fair into native wildlife habitat; enjoy the little woodland birds foraging among planted trees and shrubs and learn about the work of volunteers to reclaim grassy woodland in the area.

When: Sunday, 18 June, 1pm – 4pm; give as much of your time as you want; please come early for an introduction if you can.
Nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets, The Fair, North Watson; view this map
Bring: Sun protection, sturdy shoes and appropriate clothes; tools and afternoon tea will be provided.
Inquiries and RSVP:
Download this poster to promote the working party

Flowering Kangaroo grass, Themeda australis (W.Pix). The iconic species once common of grassy ecosystems has been almost lost in the Mt Majura nature reserve.

Help with these tasks
Spreading wood chip mulch.
Mulch reduces erosion and works as a soil conditioner that helps native plants to establish.

Direct seeding Kangaroo grass and installing protective wire mesh guards. Much of the native ground layer has been lost and replaced by herbaceous weeds as a result of overgrazing and other degrading activities. The reintroduction of native grass and local wildflowers complements weed control, increases plant diversity, reduces erosion and provides habitat for local invertebrates, lizards and birds.

About The Fair Project
Since the start of The Fair project in 2012 volunteers replaced hundreds of woody weeds with local shrubs and trees to provide food, nesting and protective habitat for declining woodland birds that visit and live in the nature reserve east of The Fair. We hope our work ensures vulnerable species such as Scarlet Robins and Speckled Warblers will be visiting the area for many years to come.

Starting in the south and working towards the north volunteers spent 1000s of hours to improve the ground cover layer by controlling herbaceous weeds *, manually loosening compacted soil, spreading wood chip mulch and woody debris – making best use of removed woody weeds, collecting seeds, direct seeding various local grasses and planting wildflowers.

*The most common herbaceous weeds are Paterson’s Curse,  St John’s Wort, Saffron thistle, Scotch thistle, Slender thistle, Spear thistle, Variegated thistle, Hirschfeldia, Horehound, Serrated Tussock.

Work in Progress
The photographs below show northwest and northeast views of an area in the reserve east of The Fair taken over 4 years from May 2014 to April 2017. The most noticeable weed, Paterson’s Curse formed dense carpets in autumn 2014. Many volunteer’s hours later in autumn 2017, this weed occurs in a few scattered stands hardly visible among the native grass that had been direct seeded in a cover of wood chip mulch.

The 2 sets of 4 photographs shown below were taken on 13 May 2014, 2 June 2015, 31 May 2016, and 11 April 2017. The first set shows a northwest view downhill towards gully in the north from close to the big conifer (visible on the left hand side) and the second set shows a northeast view from close to the conifer (the water container visible in the photograph sets is the same)

Northwest view

May 2014

June 2015

May 2016

April 2017

Northeast view

May 2014


June 2015

May 2016

April 2017

Tree Walk @ Mt Majura nature reserve
Jun 25 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Michael Doherty will be leading an information-packed tree walk.

Join ecologist Michael Doherty for an information-packed walk on the slopes of Mount Majura and Mount Ainslie on Sunday 25 June. Learn how to identify local woodland trees, see where they occur and hear how they survive fire and drought.

When: Sunday 25th June, from 2pm to 4pm.

Where: Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie nature reserves; meet at the Kellaway Street entrance near the end of Phillip Avenue, view this map

Bring: Sun protection and wear sturdy foot wear and appropriate clothes for the weather.

Bundy, Eucalyptus goniocalyx, flowers and buds (W. Pix)

Tree guides will be available at the walk.

Gold coin donations are welcome to support Friends of Mt Majura conservation work.

No booking required.


Download this Tree Walk Poster for promotion

Read about The Eucalypts and Wattles (Michael Doherty, August 2012)

View some features of eucalypts and other trees in this Picture Gallery.

The walk is hosted by the Friends of Mount Majura ParkCare group.

Working Party @ The Fair (16/07/2017) @ Mt Majura nature reserve, meet at nature park entrance Tay Street
Jul 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Early Wattle, Acacia genistifolia wrapped in spider webs on a winter morning (W.Pix). The wattle is a key habitat species planted at The Fair.

Give native plants a head start! Come and help preparing National Tree Day 2017.

When: Sunday, 16 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 2017.
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: or 6247 7515

Assisted regeneration of native diversity.  About planting at The Fair.

The site adjacent to the 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 (other sites are the old sheep camp at Majura ridge, Majura paddock east of Rivett Street and the associated drainage line at the lower Hackett water tank, and a cleared section of the west slope). These sites have in common that much of the original vegetation was cleared and replaced by weeds. In addition ongoing overgrazing prevents natural regeneration which in turn benefits the weeds. Other issues are the loss of the surface crust that holds the top soil together, compaction of soil, and erosion and loss of topsoil which affects the ability of plants to establish.

The Fair project site in April 2014; view to the south (W. Pix)

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

We started treatment of weeds in 2012 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. Work continued in the past years and included collecting seeds of native ground cover plants on Mt Majura and direct seeding, tube stock planting of native shrubs and grassland forbs on National Tree Days, 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, and work to improve the compacted soil and control erosion.

Silver wattle, Acacia dealbata planted @ The Fair and damaged by grazing (W. Pix)

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

For instance Hawthorn, Briar Rose and other woody weeds that replaced the native shrubs in the area provided shelter for little woodland birds however on the other hand the weeds prevented native vegetation to re-establish and thrive. Our solution was to plant local native shrubs that provide the similar habitat value in a staged process, superseding and accompanying the removal of these woody weeds.

Blue Devil, Eryngium ovium planted @ The Fair. The species is intolerant of heavy grazing when the young leaves appear in spring (W. Pix)

Seeds of many grassy woodland species do not persist in the soil seed bank and are unable to re-establish without assistance once they are lost from the standing vegetation through clearing, weed competition and overgrazing. We planted, and continue to 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 re-establishment of diversity improves the integrity of the grassy woodland and the drainage lines. It is a long term process and hard work and it is only sustainable if Government backs up our efforts and manages the grazing pressure that detrimentally impacts upon the grassy woodland and the native species within this endangered ecological community.


Establishing native plants under heavy grazing pressure is a challenge @ The Fair. Native grass fails to flower and set seeds and will be replaced by introduced species if overgrazing continues at the current rate (W. Pix 28.04.2014).

National Tree Day 2017 Planting on Mount Majura @ Mt Majura nature reserve, meet at nature park entrance Tay Street
Jul 30 @ 1:00 am – 4:00 am

The joy of planting together (Photo S.Bittinger)

Join the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) to celebrate National Tree Day 2017 on Sunday 30 July and help with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants.

This will be our 5th National Tree Day community planting in the nature park behind (east of) “The Fair” and the 10th consecutive mass planting of trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Mt Majura nature reserve on a National Tree Day.

The planting holes will be dug prior to the event and water delivered so all we need are volunteers to help with planting, watering and mulching the seedlings.

When: Sunday 30 July 2017, from 1.00pm to 4.00pm; volunteer registration opens at 12.45pm;
Please come early for a demonstration on “How to plant”.
Where: Mount Majura nature reserve behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson; click on this map to view the planting area and volunteer registration point;
Access park entrance intersection Tay St and Ian Nicol St close to the volunteer registration point or
via nature park entrance Antill St roughly opposite Carotel for a 5-10 minutes walk to the planting site.
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; Important: please label your items with your phone number so that we can reunite any left-behinds with the owner.


National Tree Day 2016 planting at The Fair (S. Bittinger); see photographs of the 2016 planting spectacle here

What we will plant: List of species with photos

Enquiries: e-mail, phone 6247 7515

Contact number during event: 0435 357 172

Promote National Tree Day 2017 on Mount Majura: download this poster

Click on this little pamphlet How to plant: 10 steps to help your seedling survive

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.

Practical Weed Monitor and Control Training Day @ Parks and Conservation Service, Stromlo depot
Oct 7 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Practical Weed Monitor and Control Training Day for ParkCare
Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) will be running a weed monitor and control practice day for ParkCare members covering topics such as
·         the use of ArcGIS and Collector app to map weeds and rabbits and how to share recorded data with PCS
·         Plant / Weed identification
·         Personal Protective Equipment
·         Herbicide selection, mixing, transport, storage, cleanup; and
·         Herbicide application using different tools

When: Saturday 7 October, 9am to 4pm
Where: Stromlo Depot, 500 Cotter Road, Weston Creek
Bring: Your own lunch, sun protection, closed shoes, long sleeve and pants; tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.
Numbers are limited! please RSVP by 4th October to Phil Mob 0409 595 433 or to Alison

Mt Ainslie Ngunawal Women’s Cultural Awareness Walk @ Mt Ainslie nature reserve
Oct 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie (left and centre) are significant places to the Ngunawal people (Photo: S. Bittinger).

Mt Ainslie Ngunawal Women’s cultural awareness walk led by Ngunawal custodian Karen Denny

This walk and talk will take place on Mt Ainslie and is aimed at providing cultural awareness training to women Parkcarers and Landcarers who care for Canberra Nature Park areas including Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie, Mt Painter, the Pinnacle, Red Hill, Black Mountain, Aranda/O’Connor Ridge, Stirling Park, and Capital Hill

When: Sunday 8 October, 1pm-3.30 pm

Where: Mt Ainslie; meet at Canning Street access to Mt Ainslie.

RSVP: Josie Barens 0402 913 131

Karen will discuss Ngunawal cultural sensitivities associated with a women’s cultural place and what to be aware and watch for when conducting Landcare and Parkcare activities.

Aboriginal people have lived in the Canberra region for at least 25.000 years. Numerous known sites indicate intensive occupation of the region including Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie and surrounding valleys and plains.

Mt Ainslie is part of the Ngunawal pathway that follows the watersheds and valleys associated with the Molonglo River, Ginninderra Creek, Sullivan’s Creek, Woolshed Creek, crossing the Molonglo River (Lake Burley Griffin) to link to the ridges and valleys associated with Yarralumla Creek and other minor creeks draining Red Hill and present-day Capital Hill.

Spring Working Party @ The Fair @ Mt Majura nature reserve, meet at nature park entrance Tay Street, The Fair
Oct 15 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Pretty Hoary Sunrays open their flowers in the reserve east of The Fair (W.Pix)

Join the Friends of Mt Majura spring working party at the Fair.

When: Sunday 15 October 2017, from 9am to 12noon;

Where: Meet nature park entrance intersection Tay Street and Ian Nicol Street, The Fair, North Watson; view this map

What: Hand digging weeds, watering plants, (more) mulching and other maintenance jobs.

Wear and Bring: long pants and sleeves, hat, enclosed shoes, sunscreen, gloves – if you have them, and drinking water; morning tea provided.



Wildflower walk @ Mt Majura nature reserve, meet at nature park entrance Antill Street opposite Carhotel
Oct 15 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Explore the wildflowers that are blooming this season on a stroll with local ecologist Michael Doherty. Enjoy the beauty of the Mount Majura reserve, its grasses, trees, and views whilst you go and learn about the different species found in the grassy woodlands and open forest of Mt Majura.
When: Sunday, 15th October 2017, 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm
Meet at the Antill Street Nature Park entrance opposite Carotel, south of The Fair in North Watson, click on this map to view the meeting point.
Wear suitable clothing for the expected weather, and comfortable and appropriate footwear.
Bring sun protection, a camera and magnifying glass if you have them.

An updated plant species list of Mount Majura / Mount Ainslie will be available for a gold coin donation.
Download this poster for promotion of the event.

Bird Walk @ Mt Majura nature reserve
Oct 22 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Spotted Pardalote (

Walk through the woodlands with bird enthusiast Peter Miller to spot, observe, listen to, and learn about the amazing variety of Mt Majura’s birds in Spring.

When: Sunday, 22 October 8am (sharp) – 10 am

Where: Meet at nature reserve entrance Tay St / Ian Nicol St, in The Fair, Watson (volunteer registration point on this map)


Wear appropriate clothing for the weather, sturdy shoes, sun protection;

Bring Gold Coin donation for a Mt Majura bird species list.

Recommended: Binoculars, a bird guide or app* if you have them. *See for instance Michael Morcombe & David Stewart apps for Android and Apple.

Bird walk poster for upload.

With over two hundred recorded species, Canberra and the surrounding region has the richest bird life of any Australian capital city. Roughly half – 112 species – have been recorded on Mt Majura.

If you have an interest in our feathered friends (and some foes) check out the website of the Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) which has heaps of information on the distribution, seasonal occurrence and breeding of birds, brilliant photographs taken by COG members and even records of calls of several bird species.



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