Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – July 2020


For more information on any of the below events, please visit our website at

Working Party @ The Fair – Sunday 17 July 2020, 10am – 4pm
Join in FoMM’s working party at The Fair on Sunday 19 July and help to spread mulch, plant a couple of local plants, and remove more than a couple of weeds. Around 20 volunteers from the Australian Conservation Foundation will be joining us for this working bee. As a result, there will be three groups of volunteers for weeding, mulching, and planting. If you are able to help supervise one of these teams, please email Waltraud!
The session will begin at 10am and finish at 4pm, come along for as much time as you choose. Meet at the volunteer registration table corner of Tay Street and Ian Nicol Street, Watson.
Bring: BYO drinking water, a snack and garden gloves if you have them; we will be providing cleaned tools and equipment, a range of personal gloves, hand sanitizer and an introduction to work and Covid-19 hygiene practice.
Mobile during the event: 0435 357 172
Enquiries: Email
Note: We will be postponing the event to the following Sunday (26 July) if it rains.
Click here for more information.

The winter-flowering Spreading Wattle, Acacia genistifolia is one of the local species planted at The Fair to replace Sweet Briar roses and other woody weeds; it provides excellent habitat for birds and spiders. (Photo: Waltraud Pix).

Bird Walk – Sunday 26 July 2020, 8am (sharp) – 10am
Walk through Mt Majura’s woodlands with bird enthusiast Peter Miller to see, hear and learn about the birds living on and visiting the mountain. 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. Meet at 8am sharp on the corner of Tay Street and Ian Nicol Street, Watson.
Bring sun protection, a Gold Coin donation for a bird list, and wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Binoculars are recommended!
Where: Meet at nature reserve entrance Tay St / Ian Nicol St, at The Fair, North Watson (volunteer registration point on this map)
Enquiries: Email
Click here for more information.

Varied Sittella, Daphoenositta chrysoptera, declared vulnerable in the ACT, can be readily identified by its long, thin and slightly up-tilted bill. This photo, taken on Mt Majura, shows a bird in its typical head-down posture (

Tree Walk – 2 August 2020, 2-4pm
Enjoy an informative walk with local ecologist Michael Doherty on National Tree Day. Meet at 2pm at the Mackenzie Street nature park entrance, opposite Grayson Street, Hackett. Learn how to identify Mount Majura’s woodland and forest trees, see where they occur and hear how they survive fire and drought. The walking route will take in most of the tree species on the mountain including Snow Gum, Eucalyptus pauciflora that grow only at a few sites.
Bring sun protection, a Gold Coin donation for a tree guide, and wear appropriate clothing for the weather.
Tree guides will be available for a gold coin donation.
Enquiries: Email
Click here for more information.

Snow gum, Eucalyptus pauciflora ssp. pauciflora, flower buds and fruits (Photo: Waltraud Pix).

Reflecting on June
Each Sunday in June the Friends went Wild on Weeds, removing introduced plant species surrounding the base of trees. It was great to have many helpers out there catching up on what went wild during isolation. A big thank you to all the volunteers who attended these events, your work is greatly appreciated!

Mondays @ The Fair
Our weekly sessions, Mondays 9:30am – 12:30pm, have resumed. 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, Watson.


Many exciting things are happening with the Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM)!

Seeding Node Project
In exciting news, the seeding node project has received the last of its approvals! This project will reintroduce native forbs including rare, endangered, and native food species to Mt Majura Nature Reserve using direct seeding techniques from seeding nodes. Mt Majura is affected by heavy grazing pressure from kangaroos, so it is difficult to revegetate via standard planting practices.

A seed collecting specialist will work with FoMM volunteers to collect seeds from local populations over the seeding season. The seedlings grown from these seeds will be planted within the fenced off exclusion areas, with volunteers from FoMM. Seed dispersal and recruitment outside the node will be monitored by FoMM, and these volunteers will also undertake maintenance such as weeding, watering, fence maintenance and replacement planting.

Justin of the Molonglo Conservation Group and Waltraud from FoMM will be marking out the prospective sites over the coming week. Keep an eye out for planting events in a few weeks time!

Young Hoary Sunray and Small-leaved Clematis
There are several young Hoary Sunray growing at the Fair! Hoary Sunray is an endangered plant species in the daisy family. It has papery white or yellow petals, and is endemic to South East Australia. The young plants observed at the Fair appear to have self-seeded from a caged Hoary Sunray nearby, a testament to exclusion assisting recruitment and revegetation!

Parent plant inside protective cage, and young Hoary Sunray growing nearby.

In addition, there are also many Small-leaved Clematis growing at a previously weeded site. This plant is a local climber with beautiful foliage and pretty flowers in spring, which have not been observed there before. The Clematis appears to have germinated as a result of removing competition (lots of Briar Rose, Hawthorn, and Patterson’s Curse) over the past years, as well as moisture following drought.

One of the recently identified Small-leaved Clematis growing at a previously weeded site.

Possible Aboriginal Scar Tree Identified
The Mount Majura Reserve is part of the traditional home of the Nqunnawal Aboriginal people, and has at least 12 known sites of Aboriginal heritage. The land surrounding the Fair contains sacred Men’s Business sites, including multiple Aboriginal artefacts previously identified and recoded with ACT Heritage. The picture below displays the suspected scar tree at the Fair, which too will be reported to ACT heritage for assessment.

Possible Aboriginal scar tree identified at the Fair.

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