FoMM Newsletter May 2012

Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter May 2012 (pdf)

  • Planting Party Old Sheep Camp – Sunday 20 May
  • Centenary Trail News
  • Report recent events

Dear Friends

We are now heading into the planting season as temperatures move south. For a start we will be planting a small number of hardened-off Drooping she-oak and Native boxthorn at the old sheep camp at Majura ridge on Sunday, 20 May. Peter already dug the planting holes, Luke, Parks and Conservation Service ranger will cart water, seedlings, tools and material to the planting site, Louisa prepared brilliant maps that show how to get there (available on our website and nature park entrances), Jenni volunteers to meet newcomers at the Hackett water tank to take them up to the planting site and Liese will be the contact person; see below for more details or click here to visit the website link with the maps.

Planting Party Old Sheep Camp
Sunday, 20 May 2012, from 1.00pm to 4.00pm;
at the old sheep camp, Mount Majura ridge where the Casuarina Trail hits the Summit track; if you are not familiar with the site meet Jenni at 12.30pm at the ParkCare notice board opposite of the Hackett water tank;
Bring & Wear:
Sun protection, sturdy boots, garden gloves, a bucket and garden trowel, if you have one; wrap up warmly.
ph. 6241 5553 or e-mail

Centenary trail news. Jeanette, the Mt Ainslie Weeders co-coordinator and I met with the Director of PCS, Daniel Iglesias on Tuesday, 1 May to discuss the proposed Centenary Trail. Daniel informed us about the most recent decision that the Centenary trail will now not include new cut bike tracks to the top of Mt Ainslie as originally planned, that the proposed track segment through Mt Majura grassy woodland is off the table and that the entire route on Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura will follow the existing peripheral tracks. It took a year with many meetings, submissions, discussions and headaches to arrive at this point. I’m pleased with the outcome – and very relieved.  I’d like to thank the many people who provided input and help. A planned meeting with the Chief Minister will still go ahead.

At the April working party jointly hosted with the Mt Ainslie Weeders we removed nine large wool bags of Fleabane; the weeds are now turning into fine compost at Canberra Sand and Gravel. Luke, ranger with Parks and Conservation Service showed us how to frill woody weeds with a tomahawk and we immediately applied the new and efficient method to tackle Cootamundra wattles. Many cotoneasters, firethorns and briar roses lost their life, we sprayed thistle rosettes with a selective herbicide and we cut and daubed Asparagus, a perennial garden escape which has been recently declared a Weed of National Significance. Delicious cakes prepared by Margy and Margaret lifted spirits and we hope the novice weeders who attended the party will come back for more. Carpets of Common Everlasting are now spreading in the area that was once a weed disaster – solid proof that we make a difference. Thank you everyone who gave a hand.

Thank you also Heino Lepp for generously sharing his time and extensive knowledge with almost 40 participants of a most interesting talk and walk on fungi on Saturday, 14 April. Jenni organised the event on very short notice and prepared a brief report which you can find below; many thanks Jenni.

Warm regards

Fungi walk with a ‘fun guy’
A large group of people participated in an information-packed stroll through the woodlands at the base of Mt Majura with Heino Lepp an honorary associate of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

We learned about the mechanics of puffballs with and without puff, fungi with gills (mushrooms & toadstools), or with pores (bracket fungi & boletes), paint fungi. We discovered many more growing in the ground and on living and dead trees, on roo poo and even on a dying insect, and found a yellow gilled fungus –which turned green when touched. Colour changes when bruised can help with identifying some fungi.

The part of the fungus that we see such as a mushroom or a puff ball, is the fruiting body which produces spores. This is only a small fraction of the total size of the fungus which sometimes consists of a huge network of tiny threads (mycelia) in the ground or timber or whatever it is growing in. Therefore, picking the fruiting body does not harm or help the fungus. For many plants such as Eucalypts, fungi growing in close association with their roots (mycorrhiza) is essential for healthy growth.

Sometimes it is quite difficult to tell the difference between a toxic and non toxic mushroom. Don’t rely on its smell as some mushrooms which smell and taste delicious can be extremely toxic, even fatal. As Heino said, “You can eat a poisonous mushroom once…. “ (but you will get very sick or die if you do!)

For more information on Fungi go to the Australian National Botanic Gardens Fungi website:

A more detailed report on this walk will soon be available on the FoMM website.

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