Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter October 2020


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

Spring Wildflower Rambles

Explore the wildflowers that bloom in spring on two delightful walks with local ecologist Michael Doherty (photo below: wildflower Early Nancy, Wurmbea dioica, by W. Pix)

First walk, 11th October

When: Sunday, 11 October 2020, from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm

Where: Meet at the car park nature park entrance Mackenzie Street roughly opposite Grayson Street in Hackett, click on this map to view the meeting point.

Second walk, 1st November 2020

When: Sunday, 1st November 2020, from 2.00 pm to 4.30 pm

Where: Meet at the nature park entrance (volunteer registration point) Tay Street / Ian Nicol Street, The Fair, North Watson, click this map to view the meeting point.

For more information click here.

Weeding and Seeding around The Fair

Come and go anytime between the working hours, give as much or as little time as you can. You can identify us by our green tops and white hats embroidered with the Parks and Conservation Service logo, and we usually stop for cake and conversation midway through the working bees.

First Session, Sunday 11 October 2020: Weeding and Seeding

In addition to the weed control, we will carry out experimental direct seeding of local Wattles.

When: Sunday, 11th October, from 9 am to 12 noon

Where: Nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson; access and volunteer registration at the nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Street; click on this map.

Second Session, Sunday 18 October 2020: Weeding among Forbes

We will be working in a beautiful grassy woodland site (right photo: W. Pix) northeast of The Fair dam among many native forbs.

When: Sunday, 18th October, from 9 am to 12 noon; arrive at 9 am for a walk to the grassy woodland site.

Where: Meet at the nature park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Street; The Fair North Watson; click on this map.

For more information click here.

Bird Walk, 20 October 2020

Accompany bird enthusiast Peter Miller for a morning stroll on Mt Majura and see, listen to and learn about the birds that nest, fledge and sing in spring (right photo: a Weebill, Smicrornis brevirostris, by Canberra Nature Map).

When: Sunday 25 October, 8am (sharp) – 10am

Where: Meet at nature reserve entrance Mackenzie Street roughly opposite Grayson Street in Hackett; view this map

For more information click here.

Mondays @ The Fair! 

Our weekly sessions, Mondays 9:30am – 12:30pm, will continue throughout September. Spring is the best time of the year to watch and learn plants, as flowers are their best distinguishing feature! Usually the first plant to flower in the Early Nancy. You may have noticed some already (hint: the photo above)!

When: Monday’s, 9:30am to 12:30pm.

Where: Nature park access Tay Street, The Fair, North Watson; meet at volunteer registration point, click this map.

What: removing weeds, with the occasional mulching

For more information click here.


Reflecting on August

September was another exciting month for the Friends of Mount Majura!

Orchid Walk, Monday 28 September

On 28 September, Friends of Mount Majura enjoyed a lovely walk with orchid expert Peter Quinn. The wildflowers further up Mt Majura and closer to the Federal Highway were magnificent. It’s a ‘meadow’ with lots of hoary sunrays, billy buttons, early nancies, some yam daisies and bulbine lilies as well as the tiny twining lily, and the three orchids we saw – donkey orchids (left photo: Donkey Orchid by M. Burn), tiny ‘pink fingers’, and the black tipped greenhood.

Annual Planning Meeting with Parks and Conservation Service, 15 September 2020

Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) and Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) met on 15 September to discuss, and agree on, the draft FoMM annual plan.

PCS committed to improving signage, repairing high use trails, and removing illegal trails on Mount Majura. Feral animal control was also discussed, as overgrazing is one of the primary causes of degradation in the reserve;  however, implementing any management plan is becoming increasingly difficult due to its complex and sensitive nature.

Over the next year, FoMM is planning to continue with monthly working bees and mapping of rabbit warrens, walking trails, and weeds. There will be minimal planting in the new year, but there may be some native seed collection.

Soil Assessment, Monday 9 September

The Friends of Mount Majura enjoyed a stimulating morning at the Fair site on Monday with soil microbiologist Walter Jehne (photo: L. Jokinen).

Walter is a huge fan of mulching, but not so enthusiastic about deep ripping. He explained mulch attracts ants and termites and supports fungi and soil bacteria, creating micro-habitats that support natural regeneration of the biosystem. Where the soil is poor with rocky outcrops, Walter demonstrated how even the small piles of litter and debris are creating micro-environments which support plant growth. He stated that having a field of Paterson’s Curse is better than using a yeoman plough (the tool used for deep ripping) because it fixes carbon in the soil.

Discussion also focused on the continuing problem of overgrazing and the need for culling and fencing to give native plants a better chance.

Everyone, including the wildlife, listening in to the soil discussion (Photo: L. Jokinen).

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