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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush

FOBB gained a grant for $19,310!  Caring for Bannockburn Bush.
Kate and Stuart prepared a grant application under the State Government’s Community Volunteer Action Grant Scheme, administered by DELWP and aimed at empowering community groups to do works to conserve threatened Species.

The projects objectives are: 
•  Increase community awareness of the threatened plant and vegetation communities present. 
•  Encourage recreational trail bikers to use low value areas of the Reserve such as Sugar gum plantations. Prevent access to sensitive areas by trail bike users 
•  Remove weeds currently threatening the Grassy Woodland community 
•  Establish a new cohort of significant floral species. (Yellow Gum and Snowy Mint-Bush) 
•  Prevent illegal rubbish dumping within the Reserve 

Project Activities include: 
•  Cut and paint 2500 sq meters of Gorse and Broom and spray 1000 sq meters of Serrated Tussock infestation currently occupying the Grassy Woodland community within the southern section of the reserve.  

•  Erect 8 signs at the entrance to unauthorised motor bike tracks leading into the Grassy Woodland community. Signs will state that the area is closed for revegetation. 

•  Collect seed from Melbourne Yellow Gum & Prostanthera nivea. Seed will be propagated and planted into the reserve where current populations exist and into areas denuded by cars and trailbikes. 

The project will be promoted via community channels including local newsletters, newspapers & social media.  A community planting day and a working bee will be held in 2016. An event will be held to promote the project and educate the community. FOBB will also consult with dirt bike riders on future track changes.

Volunteers wanted: 
To complete this valuable project FOBB invites the participation of community members. As the main component of the project will be fencing off the “Southern Triangle”, one of our biggest tasks will be clearing timber from the fencing easement.  

Of course anyone who helps out with this task will be welcome to retain the timber that they clear. Many people have contacted us regarding access to firewood from the bush. This is a rare opportunity to stock up for next winter, legally, while supporting the project. 

If you wish to help with this or one of the other tasks contact me with an email address on Mob: 0438 904 961 or email;

We need more people Caring for Our Country
Greening Australia Victoria has recently conducted community engagement events in the Bannockburn area under their Living Landscapes Program. 

In March, an enthusiastic group met at the cultural centre to share the experience of farming communities in the Portland area who had come together into “cells” to develop and conduct location-specific conservation programs with a strong emphasis on linking a disjointed landscape to support a focal species. 

The Cashmore Cell Group focussed on the Rufous bristlebird. The meeting discussed and mapped local areas of particular conservation significance and made suggestions as to possible projects. The key thrust was how best to integrate biodiversity conservation into the agricultural landscape.

In October, Greening Australia held another workshop with an emphasis on the role of paddock trees in supporting bird and bat populations. The guest speakers pointed out how the birds and bats support the farmers by controlling insect pests and in return just need some nesting hollows and a secure water supply.

Not a lot to ask considering how much damage we have done to their habitat.

On Tuesday November 24 Greening Australia (they are busy!) and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority’s Grasslands and Wetlands team held a Cuppa in the Grasslands morning at Shelford. 

John Delpratt, one of the authors of the excellent book, Land of Sweeping Plains: managing and restoring the native grasslands of south-eastern Australia, was present to guide a walk and discussion about grassland management with a focus on weed control.

Unfortunately, although many people turned up and enjoyed the morning (and the cuppa and cheese spread) only two actual landowners/farmers joined in. One of these farmers pointed out how important it was to make sure that event organisers work harder to engage the people who are most in need of the information. 

Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, Grasslands bus trip at Hamilton and Lake Bolac.
Meanwhile, further to our west the GHCMA is also working hard on community awareness and information on grasslands. Stuart was able to attend the Lake Bolac event on Saturday November 14.

This group focussed on linear reserves (road and rail) and how NOT to destroy them by ploughing, spraying, cropping, grazing or burning at the wrong times or by inadequate weed control. John Morgan, the lead author of Land of Sweeping Plains, guided this excursion. Our grasslands are very special and resilient ecosystems but are easily destroyed by thoughtless actions.

Fortunately Greening Australia have developed a scrape and re-seed technique that removes weedy, nutrient rich top soil and direct seeds the clean, low nutrient subsoil. The results are most impressive and the technique is rapidly becoming more widespread and cost-effective. Of course it’s better to avoid the degradation but when mistakes happen, a partial fix is possible….at a price.

Logging and road access in the bush.
A third logging contractor has now commenced work in the sugar gum plantations on the Mason Rd side.

Accordingly, for safety reasons, the track that runs east off Mason Rd and runs out to the South-east corner under the HT lines will often be blocked. Please look for and obey the signs. Empty trucks will enter from Mason Road and loaded trucks will exit onto Army Base Rd and Harvey Rd.

Coming Events:
Bannockburn Scouts Night Hike, Thursday December 10

On a dark and spooky night in December, we will be hosting the Bannockburn District scouts on a night hike through some of the most haunted sections of the reserve. Does that green slimy ectoplasm stuff interfere with GPS signals?

December working Bee? Probably not.
We will need to hold a FOBB meeting to discuss work tasks for our Threatened Species DELWP grant. Keep an eye on your email for further information.

Stuart McCallum,
Friends of Bannockburn Bush

A Tree as lovely as a Poem


Triangle fencing