Around the Ditch Working Party Sunday 16 August 2020, 1pm to 4pm
See out winter with a FoMM working party to remove herbaceous weeds around the drainage ditch close to the Hackett water tank, love your frogs, plant some Tall Sedge plants at the bottom of the gully and help rectify some of the recent vandalism. Give as much time as you like!
Where: Meet at the drainage ditch close to the ParkCare notice board opposite of the water reservoir off Rivett Street and French Street intersection, view this map.
Bring and wear: Sun protection, drinking water, garden gloves and sturdy shoes or gumboots.
You need no experience to take part in this event; instructions, tools and hand sanitiser will be provided.
Members of FoMM began work at the drainage line in 2004 and over the years have hosted work parties once a year to remove weeds and carry out some planting. As we removed weeds such as Umbrella Sedge, English Ivy and Japanese Honeysuckle, native sedges, River Tussock, River Clubrush and other species started to thrive and spread and frogs sang their songs of love and happiness in spring.
It is therefore very disappointing and sad to see vandalism such as clubrushes ripped out and used for thatching structures built from logs elsewhere in the nature reserve.
FoMM has now requested Parks and Conservation Service rangers to erect temporary fencing to protect parts of the drainage line where rehabilitation is in progress. We hope that this last measure will reduce vandalism until the native cover is more advanced.
Left: River Clubrush, along with the Tall Sedge, Carex appressa provides excellent habitat for frogs and other creatures. Over the past months, a large number of Clubrush stems have been ripped out and used for thatching structures built elsewhere in the reserve. Right: River Clubrush, Schoenoplectus validus in flower. (Photos: W.Pix).
Mondays @ The Fair
Our weekly sessions, Mondays 9:30am – 12:30pm, will continue throughout August. The consistent rain earlier this year, along with unusual temperature trends, has resulted in a surge of plant growth, many of which are weeds! As a result, we will be continuing our focus on hand weeding, with the occasional mulching. Come and lend a hand! Meet at the volunteer registration table corner of Tay Street and Ian Nicol Street, North Watson. Click here for more information.
Reflecting on July
July was a busy month for the Friends of Mount Majura! The soil was prepared and fences were installed for our Seeding Node Project (see below). So far, one node has been planted by our Monday’s @ The Fair crew. On the 19th more than 30 people, including members of the Australian Conservation Foundation, lent a hand at our monthly working bee. Five huge piles of mulch were spread, 20 trees were planted, and well over 1000 weeds were removed. On the 26th, 12 happy birders gathered for a rainy day guided tour to see a range of exciting native woodland birds. Our National Tree Day Tree Walk on the 2nd of August turned out to be a record event for the Friends of Mount Majura with up to 60 people in attendance for a guided tour.
Tree Walk participants learning about the trees of Mt Majura. (Photo: Max Pouwer)
The Friends of Mt Majura’s newest and exciting project aims to reintroduce native forbs (herbaceous species other than grass) including rare, endangered, and native food species to the grassy woodlands of the Mt Majura Nature Reserve using direct seeding techniques from seeding nodes.
Past management of Mt Majura such as car racing, cattle and sheep grazing, horse cross-country riding and horse holding resulted in compacted soil, cleared native vegetation, weed infestations and the loss of the great diversity of herbaceous plants that are typical of a healthy Yellow Box – Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland which once covered the lower slopes of the mountain (and is now an Endangered Ecological Community).
Mt Majura is now affected by heavy grazing pressure from kangaroos, so it is difficult to revegetate with standard planting practices. Yet, direct seeding techniques have proven to work in areas that are grazed. Thus, this project’s objective is to create Seeding Nodes which we hope will repopulate the surrounding areas via natural seed dispersal.
What’s (in) the plot? Four 10m x 20m plots* located on the lower west-slopes of Mt Majura were deep-soil ripped to allow water penetration and root growth, and fenced to exclude excessive grazing (some grazing will occur). Half of each plot is planted with local forbs at a high-density rate (4 plants/m2) and recruitment of plants will be monitored in spring over the next couple of years. Some of the species planted include Hoary Sunray and Murnong (Yam Daisy).
Leucocrysum albicans, Hoary Sunray, an endangered species.
Seed bank managers at Greening Australia (GA) and the Australian National Botanical Gardens have been consulted to determine the appropriate provenance of species to be planted and GA propagated the seedlings. Due to drought conditions over the past years, some species originally planned for the seeding nodes have not been available for propagation; we hope to add those at a later stage.
Once established the seeding nodes will act as a ‘Noah’s Arc’ of species, providing seeds for other parts of the Mt Majura nature reserve. Click here for more information.
Microseris walteri, Murnong or Yam Daisy, a once common aboriginal food plant that became rare due to soil compaction and rabbits eating the underground tubers.
Native Trees – a Special View and Celebration
There are many ways of celebrating our special trees. Here is Chris Mobbs’ (Convenor Bragg St Park Volunteers Group, Hackett) way which he calls Nature’s Grand Designs.
Read his letter to FoMM here.
View his photos here and get inspired!
The small entrance of the tree hollow in this dead Scribbly gum selects its inhabitants. (Photo: Waltraud Pix)