Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – December 2022

Take time-out from the end of year rush and the hurly-burly of the festive season to enjoy the nature reserve on our doorstep. And if you have time to spare, give something that costs nothing, a little care to the beautiful environment of Mount Majura.

Third Sunday Working Party 18 December from 9.00am

We’ll return to the drainage line near the Hackett reservoir to remove herbaceous weeds from this little wetland which is an important resource for wildlife, including frogs and birds. This activity is suitable for children. It will be shady, and you can enjoy being near water. We’ll be pulling out English Ivy and Privet seedlings and removing and bagging the vines of Cleavers (Sticky Weed). Bring sun protection and drinking water; wear gum boots or sturdy shoes and clothes which cover your limbs; garden gloves if you have them.

We provide hand sanitiser, tools, gloves, and a delicious cake for morning tea. Meet at the drainage line close to the water reservoir near the Rivett and French Streets entrance to the nature park; view this map. More information here

A native frog spotted recently at the dam north-east of the Fair project site. Photo Max Pouwer.

Majura Scouts supporting FoMM

Every year FoMM hosts various community groups to work with us. Some 30 Majura Scouts, troop leaders and parents, gave time on a recent evening to hand-pull St John’s wort growing near wildflower patches at The Fair site in North Watson. There was a beautiful full moon shining through the Yellow Box trees, and the energetic Scouts tackled the task with gusto.

Other participants in special group events have included Majura cubs, University of Canberra landscape architecture students and businesses which support their staff to spend time in practical activities which give back to local communities.

FoMM members welcome community groups who wish to work with us whether in the daytime or ‘after hours’. If this interests your group, contact

Some of the Majura Scouts at work. Photo Margy Burn.

Twilight evening working bees in January

During your summer holidays, enjoy gorgeous twilight evenings on Mount Majura while doing a little weeding among rich wildflower patches. FoMM will resume these popular evening sessions from Tuesdays to Thursdays, starting at 6pm, from Tuesday 3 January. Meet at the nature park entrance at the corner of Tay and Ian Nicol Streets North Watson. As with all our events, no experience is necessary. Experienced FoMM members will welcome and guide newcomers.

A summer evening weeding session removing St John’s Wort from native wildflower patches at the Fair. Photo Ernestine Kirsch.

Rosenberg’s goanna

Our November newsletter informed you about a Citizen Science project monitoring (ahem!) Rosenberg’s Goanna (Varanus rosenbergi) a monitor lizard, on Mount Majura. The project team is in hot pursuit of a GPS tag which the goanna they named Rex has managed to shed. Rex’s radio beacon tag was still in place and the team attached a new GPS tag to Rex when he was found, this time with reinforced stress points.

FoMM members enjoy wildlife encounters as we weed, usually with birds overhead, distant kangaroos and small lizards. Jochen Zeil snapped this recent encounter with a Rosenberg goanna while he was weeding on Mount Majura.

Jochen’s Rosenberg’s Goanna.

Mondays at the Fair

Every week a group of FoMM volunteers works at The Fair site in North Watson. Meet us any Monday at 9.30am at the nature park entrance near Tay & Ian Nicol Streets. No experience necessary – you will learn from others who will happily share their knowledge.

At present we are concentrating on hand-pulling St John’s wort – not a difficult task, while the soil is moist. Maybe this is an activity you could consider while you are on holidays with your school age children?

Two of our younger volunteers returned on a Monday morning to check out a tree they had earlier planted. Photo Margy Burn.

Native bees of the ACT and NSW South Coast – A spotter’s guide

The most recent newsletter of ACT Natural Resource Management and Landcare wrote about Peter Abbott’s book:

“This keenly anticipated publication will introduce you to the gentle art of spotting and recognising our local native bees. For the more curious, it will help you to identify the major bee groups and many individual species using simple visual clues. It is written in non-technical language to encourage everybody to become native bee spotters.”

The book can be purchased from

A bee collects pollen from a Flax Lily (Dianella revoluta) flower; vibrating its flight muscles to shake down the pollen. Photo Waltraud Pix.

Thanks to Volunteers from Parks & Conservation Service

On National Volunteers’ Day, 5 December, Volunteer Programs Manager Lauren McQueen, acknowledged the service of Parkcare volunteers noting we provided over 21,000 volunteer hours in the past year, and weed management on over 225 hectares since July. Take a bow, FoMM volunteers for your contribution to this effort!

St John’s Wort growing amid a large patch of wildflowers at the Fair site. Photo Max Pouwer.
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