Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – July 2022

Many people are enjoying the winter sunshine to exercise on Mount Majura. One walker has suggested we encourage you to remove weeds while you walk – you will need to take a plastic bag in your pocket. Fleabane is a very obvious and distinctive weed that is thriving in the recent wet conditions. It is easy to uproot from its base in the moist soil, but as each flower head produces thousands of seeds, it’s important to snap off the flower head and bag it. You can empty your small bag into the larger plastic bags FoMM keeps near entrances to the nature park. Every removed weed helps remove the future weed load.
A good example of Fleabane (Erigeron sumatrensis) posted to the Canberra Nature Map.

National Tree Day Sunday 31 July

Celebrate the day with a guided tree walk on Mount Majura led by local ecologist Michael Doherty. Michael will introduce you to the tree species on Mount Majura, including Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) which only grow at a few sites. Meet at 2pm at the Mackenzie Street entrance to the nature park, close to Grayson Street Hackett. Tree guide pamphlets will be available for a gold coin donation. More information

Allocasuarina verticillata Black She-oak or Drooping She-oak. Female flowers (orange colour) and cone containing seeds. Male and female flowers are on separate plants.

Third Sunday working party 17 July

We will revisit the site of our June working party on the northern slopes of Mount Majura for a ‘Search and Destroy’ mission tackling woody weeds, including non-local plants such the Snowy River Wattle (Acacia boormanii) and the Knife-leaf Wattle (A. culitriformis). These two species have invaded Mount Majura’s high-quality native grassy woodlands from the Federal Highway and threaten the spectacular carpet of endangered Hoary Sunrays in Spring.

The work involves cutting stems and treating them with herbicide applied from a small spray bottle or dauber. We work in pairs – if you don’t wish to apply herbicide you can cut the weeds. We provide impervious nitrile gloves as well as gardening gloves. Also delicious lamingtons for afternoon tea, as National Lamington Day falls later that week.

More information

Hoary Sunrays on Mount Majura. Photo W.Pix

Mondays at The Fair

Every week a group of volunteers meets at this site in north Watson. Recently we’ve concentrated on removing Blackberry Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) commonly spread by birds which have eaten the berries and Sticky Weed (Galium aparine) also known as Cleavers which, unchecked, drapes over trees and smothers native groundcovers. The Fair site is rich in native flowers and plants; removing weeds assists them to spread and flourish.

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.

Taiwanese landscape design students visited on a recent Monday to observe work at the Fair and learn about Mount Majura’s grassy woodland ecology from volunteer Max Pouwer. Photo M.Burn.

Calling all ACT environmental volunteers!

You are invited to participate in a survey about the Motivations and Benefits of Environmental Volunteering in the ACT. The University of Canberra survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and is supported by Landcare. Participants can enter a draw to win one of five $50 Mastercard shopping vouchers. Read more about the study and the researchers at the survey link

Enjoying our varied birdlife while on Mount Majura is great motivation. Max Pouwer observed this handsome Gang-gang Cockatoo at Watson recently and posted his photo to the Canberra Nature Map.
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