Projects – Friends of Mount Majura
Aug 272016
 
Majura paddock bathing in Evening Light Tristan Armstrong 12.02.2012 IMG_8974

Majura paddock with plantings bathing in evening light (Photo T. Armstrong)

Spring into action at the spring working party held by the Friends of Mt Majura on Sunday 18 September at the Majura paddock. Help remove protective guards that are outgrown by their plant inhabitants or go on weed patrol and tackle the last pesky Paterson’s Curse that grow on the paddock.

Meet at 1pm at the ParkCare notice board opposite of the Hackett water reservoir off Rivett / French Streets intersection (click on this map) and give as much time as you like.

Please bring sun protection and garden gloves if you have them. Tools and tea will be provided.

Inquiries: secretary@majura.org

Download this poster for promotion.

The work session will be cancelled of it rains; inquiry ph 6247 7515 or mob 0435 357 172

 

 

Oct 222015
 
Horehound @ Majura paddock DSCN1425

Horehound at Majura paddock. Removal of competitive weeds benefit local native plants.

Join FoMM’s weeds working party held on Sunday, 15 November and help remove Privet and other woody weeds growing in and around the drain close to the Hackett reservoir and horehound in the nearby Majura Paddock.

Come early for an introduction and give as much time as you want.

When: Sunday 15 November 2015, 9am to 12noon

Where: Meet at ParkCare notice board opposite of the water reservoir off Rivett Street and French Street intersection, view this map.

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

You need no experience to attend this event; instructions and tools will be provided on site.

Inquiries: ph 6247 7515 or secretary@majura.org

Drainage line in November 2004, overgrown with Ivy, Honeysuckle, Privet and other woody weeds

Drainage line 14.11.2013 DSCN0199

… and many volunteer hours later in November 2013. The continuous supply of seeds from nearby gardens requires annual woody weed removal.

 

Aug 182014
 

 

Shrub plantings at the Majura Paddock  (W. Pix). Woody weeds, that once occupied the Majura paddock drainage line have been replaced with local shrub species such as native boxthorn, Cassinia and Silver wattle. The weed removal and planting of local shrubs was carried out in a staged process over a 5-years period.

Celebrate the return of the Majura paddocks to nature reserve with a working party and afternoon tea.

When: Sunday 24 August from 1.00pm to 4.00pm; come for an hour or more; tea around 2.30pm.

Where: Meet at the Hackett water reservoir close to the Rivett and French Streets intersection; view this map.

What: Hand-weed horehound and other herbaceous weeds around plantings; remove outgrown tree guards; celebrate with tea, coffee and cake at around 2.30pm.

Wear and bring: Sun protection, sturdy shoes, old garden clothing with long sleeves and pants. We’ll provide gloves and tools.

Enquiries: email secretary@majura.org or phone 62477515

Majura paddock ground cover plantings (W. Pix, Sept 2013). Once standing plants and short-lived soil-stored seeds are lost from an area, planting and direct seeding is the only way to increase the diversity of native ground cover species.

We will be removing guards only from advanced plants or plants that will have no chance to ever establish under the excessive grazing pressure.

Grazing damaged Cassinia @ Majura paddock (W.Pix 18.08.2014)

Grazing damaged Cassinia longifolia planted at the Majura paddock. The premature removal of the protective guard exposed the plant to grazing. Photo taken on the 18 August, ten days after the removal of the guard. Note the fibers at the damaged branches: the plant was not grazed by rabbits as rabbit grazing results in clear secateurs like cuts.

See more examples of heavy grazed Cassinia:

    Cassinia 3

    Cassinia 2

    Cassinia 1

Jul 282013
 

National Tree Day 2013 has been a terrific success.  More than 200 people came out into the bush to help. Plus we had wonderful coverage of the event on the local ABC news program in the evening – view Plantings galore mark National Tree Day – and the Canberra Times on Monday – see Locals work hard to restore environment.

Shane Rattenbury showing excellent planting skills.

To all volunteers and supporting organisations: a big Thank You

Lots of pictures are being uploaded to the Friends of Mt Majura Flickr site. Some of them can be seen if you click here.

Making a lasting contribution

National Tree Day was a wonderful opportunity for new and old neighbours of Mount Majura to work together, get to know each other and promote the joys of our local bush environment. This year we could admire the progress of the plants that were planted during the 2012 Tree Day as we extended the rehabilitated area.

Decorated tree

Customised ‘adopt a tree’ tags were provided for families who wanted a special link with their personal tree. They will come back in the following days and months and give their special tree some extra TLC!

Where: Mount Majura nature park behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson close to Tay / Ian Nicol Streets intersection. Use the nature park entrance on Antill Street opposite Carotel for a 5-minutes walk to the planting site. Limited parking space is available at The Fair residential site.  Click on this map to view the planting area and access.

The Fair planting site.

List of species (pdf with photos)

How to plant: 10 steps to help your seedling survive

Media Release

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.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the support and help from the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, the Conservation Council ACT Region, Greening Australia, the Majura Mountain Scouts, the North Canberra Community Council, the Hackett Community Association, and *Village Building Company.
*Village Building Company gave funds as part of an agreement with community groups to mitigate the impact of “The Fair” residential development on the natural values of Mount Majura nature park.
Mar 182013
 

Friends of Mt Majura Media Release Monday, 18 March, 2013

The grazing impact of Kangaroos: A three year experiment

The results of a three year experiment by a local ParkCare group demonstrate that grazing pressure by kangaroos has serious consequences for the integrity of endangered grassy woodlands.

Since late 2009, with financial help from the ACT Government and the North Canberra Community Council, the Friends of Mt Majura conducted a simple public awareness project by recording vegetation change, and demonstrating the cause.

“We set up our Explaining Change project to gain a better understanding of the relative influence of kangaroos, rabbits, and season on the herbaceous ground layer in the reserve”, Ms Waltraud Pix, coordinator of the Friends of Mount Majura explains.  “We fenced small grassland areas to exclude kangaroos and rabbits, kangaroos only, or none of the two herbivores and recorded the changes of the ground layer with repeat photography at fixed times of the year.”

“Our project began during a prolonged drought in 2009. We were astonished to observe how the lawn-like grass layer recovered as a response to removing grazing pressure. With three years of repeat photographic records of the seasonal changes, and the separate impacts of kangaroos and rabbits, the evidence is now conclusive. Our records demonstrate that kangaroo grazing is the problem. Even under the favourable rainfall conditions grazing induced changes of the ground layer persist,” says Ms Pix.

“Protecting Yellow-box-Red Gum grassy woodland” is the stated purpose in creating, and thus managing Mt Majura Nature Reserve (MMNR). But one factor, which strongly influences the protection of this grassy woodland – grazing by kangaroos, is not managed.  This is to be regretted because the kangaroo species, the Eastern Grey, is abundant and is under no threat of extinction.  In contrast, there are many small populations of plant and small animal species in MMNR that are locally rare, and whose habitat is repeatedly grazed bare.

Does it matter?  Based on years of experience working within the Reserve, The Friends are convinced that it does matter.  In particular, it is obvious that grazing by kangaroos is both heavy and unsustainable, because there are too many of them in the small remaining grassy woodlands. The herbaceous layer, the grasses and forbs, is repeatedly reduced to a lawn or a cover of unpalatable weeds.  Consequently, a large unmanaged kangaroo population defeats the purpose of protecting the grassy woodland.

Ms Pix has grave concerns that overgrazing undermines volunteer and government efforts to restore degraded grassy woodland. “Ultimately large scale restoration projects are not sustainable when overgrazing hampers the natural regeneration and the reproductive cycle of plants. Overgrazed landscapes would require continuous planting or direct seeding, and expensive measures to protect the plantings. What is the use of investing into the protecting, improving and restoring endangered grassy woodlands if we ignore a key factor that causes the degradation?”

A time-lapse video of the 3 years repeat photography and explanatory background information is available at http://majura.org/explaining-change/.

FoMM published the following photographic essays

Grazing impact on work to improve degraded woodland at the Majura ridge
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61627737@N03/sets/72157632823459049/

Grazing impact on the ground cover and soil
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61627737@N03/sets/72157631419900742/

 End of Media Release

Jan 102013
 

Since 2008 volunteers of the Friends of Mount Majura, the Mount Ainslie Weeders, the Watson Woodland Working Group and the wider public assisted Parks and Conservation Service with the control of rabbits in the Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura nature reserves. For three years in a row volunteers recorded rabbit warrens using GPS. In 2011/12 fiftyfive volunteers spent over 750 hours monitoring warrens of more than 1300 heactares bushland and recorded 1167 rabbit warrens. Click here to learn more about the project. Continue reading »

Jul 012012
 

Join the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) and the Watson Woodland parkCare groups to celebrate National Tree Day 2012 with the planting of local trees, shrubs and flowering ground-cover plants in the Mount Majura nature park. Bring your mum and dad, friends, neighbours and colleagues and make the event a real community planting party.

This year we are planting in an area of the nature park behind the new residential development called “The Fair”.  National Tree Day is a wonderful opportunity for new and old neighbours of Mount Majura to work together, get to know each other and promote the joys of our local bush environment. Holes are already being dug and water has been delivered so all will be in place on July 29th for an orgy of planting!

When: Sunday 29 July 2012, from 1.00pm to 3.00pm
Come early for a demonstration
on how to plant delivered by Simon Corbell, Minister for the Environment and Shane Rattenbury of the Greens
Volunteer registration
opens at 12.45pm
Where:
Mount Majura nature park behind (east of) The Fair in North Watson. Use the park entrance on Antill Street opposite Carotel for a 5-minutes signposted walk to the planting site; there is limited access via The Fair residential site, click on this map to view the planting area and access.
Car parking: along Antill Street opposite the nature park entrance, limited car parking space 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 by the Majura Mountain Scouts.
Enquiries: e-mail admin@majura.org, phone 62477517
Contact number on the day:
0448 477 773
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 the Planet Ark Friends of Mt Majura Site.

Check out the species that we will plant: click on List of species (pdf)

View a report and photo gallery of the planting spectacle in 2011: click here

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

National Tree Day 2012 on Mt Majura Media release

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.

 

Make a lasting contribution to your community and the environment. Help to plant 500 trees, shrubs and ground cover plants on National Tree Day 2012

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the support and help from the North Canberra Community Council, Greening Australia, the Hackett Community Association, the Mount Majura Mountain Scouts, the Conservation Council ACT Region, the rangers of the ACT Parks and Conservation Service, and the *Village Building Company.

*Village Building Company gave funds as part of an agreement with community groups to mitigate the impact of “The Fair” residential development on the natural values of Mount Majura nature park.
May 302012
 

Rabbit mapping volunteers

From October 2011 to March 2012 volunteers of the Friends of Mount Majura, the Mount Ainslie Weeders and the Watson Woodland Working Group joined forces with members of the wider public to map rabbit warrens in the Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie nature reserves.

Marking the warren location

Continue reading »

May 242012
 

On a glorious autumn afternoon, 40 strong and healthy Drooping she-oak seedlings were

Liese mulching a baby casuarina

planted at the old sheep camp. We were very pleased to have two new people join the regular volunteers and to be able to spread word of the work of FoMM to passing joggers and bikers. Thanks to Peter for the fantastic planting holes at the sheep camp; thanks to Luke for bringing equipment up and Noel for taking it down and to Margy for the scrumptious cake and thanks to everyone there who helped with the planting, watering and mulching.

The sheep camp is so different from when we started work on its rehabilitation many years ago.  Here are some photos taken after this planting party.

You can never gather too much mulch!

A mature Drooping she-oak on the sheep camp

View of the sheep camp - May 2012

May 232012
 

The young plants from National Tree Day 2011

Come and help us keep the young plants growing well in Majura Paddock.

When: Sunday, 17 June from 1.00 pm until 4pm; come for an hour or the whole time.
Where: Meet at the Hackett water reservoir close to the Rivett and French Streets intersection; view this map.
What: Handweed around the young plants that are growing strongly since they were planted at National Tree Day last year. In addition there are some Drooping she oak seedlings and some native shrub seedlings that have been hand raised in Hackett and are now ready for planting and mulching.
Wear and bring:
Sun protection, sturdy shoes, old garden clothing with long sleeves and pants. We’ll provide gloves and tools.
Enquiries:
email admin@majura.org or phone 0421033020