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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Threatened Species Grant progress.  Fencing the Southern Triangle
Things have moved along quickly with our DELWP fencing grant. Stuart, Lance, Kate and Fran have been busy clearing Acacia paradoxa, Melaleuca armillaris and other trees and bushes from along the new fencing easement. We have encountered a lot of Callistemon spp that does not belong (comes from dumped garden waste) and also Melaleuca armillaris another serious garden escapee.


Fencing work by Tim Ramm‘s Rural Fencing will have commenced at the start of March. Please be careful driving through this area at this time as Kangaroos and Wallabies will be trying to establish new tracks across Harvey Rd and Red Rd which connects Harvey Rd with the south end of Old Base Rd.

Meanwhile Kate has raised a truckload of new Yellow Gums for planting out later in the season (if we get some rain) and we have arranged for some Natural Resource Management students from the Gordon to help with weed control work on Broom, Gorse and Serrated Tussock.

Geelong Cable Locations did an excellent and very efficient job of helping to track down the route of the Telstra cables along Harvey Road.

Road access changes:
As this DELWP grant is to protect the native vegetation from damage from litter, cars and trailbikes we will be installing locked gates along the roads that are habitually used by Rubbish Dumpers. If you have a legitimate need to access these areas please get in touch to arrange this. 

New gates will be installed across the southern extension of Old Base Rd near the HV Pylon, halfway down (south) at the private property boundary and at the Harvey Rd intersection. 

Gates will also be placed across the rutted track that runs beneath the Ausnet HV lines. We won’t have vehicle access to that track.

Grassland Surprises.
While we have been carrying out the fence easement clearing work we have had many surprises, some bad (dead ‘roos, sheep, foxes and cows and stacks of litter, cans, bottles and asbestos) and some very good (healthy stands of Kangaroo grass, Black Bristle Rush, Mat Rushes, many Fairy Wrens, Choughs, raptors and an Eastern Yellow Robin. The Acacia paradoxa (Hedge Wattle) that we have been removing is great habitat for birds and it stops grazers from getting to the grasses.

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;  stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au.

Encouraging healthy activities in the bush.
While most people using the Bannockburn Bush are sensitive to the needs of the indigenous flora and fauna, we still have some user groups who do not have a clue how to behave in the bush. 

Just to spell it out again, intelligent, sensible activities include things that don’t spoil the place for the native inhabitants or other intelligent user groups. OK activities could be running, walking, bicycle riding, trail bike riding of registered bikes on the made roads or in the Sugar gums, photography, bird-watching etc.

Selfish activities that cause damage and spoil the place for others include dirt bike riding (even if registered) on areas that are clearly set aside for revegetation, abusing other bush users and threatening to shoot their dogs or horses, riding unregistered bikes anywhere, riding without helmets, riding 3 up on a trail bike, breaking and entering or stealing from the logging equipment, riding any vehicle in areas of native vegetation usually ‘single track’ damage and dropping litter such as energy drinks, (Can you get brain drinks? They seem to be in greater need) oil cans, tyres mudguards, tail lights etc. 

FOBB hopes that in future there will be enough people present in the bush for sensible, legitimate reasons that there will be no room for selfish activities. Eyes everywhere. If you see any poor or illegal behaviour please dial 000 and let the local Police know. They are also keen to clean the place up.

Bush Clean up Thursday March 3
By the time you read this article, an enthusiastic crew of over 60 FOBB members, Bannockburn Scouts and cubs and other community volunteers will have spent a day in the bush removing much of the junk that selfish people mentioned above have disposed of. See details in the April newsletter.

BEN February Newsletter and Honeyeaters in a rut.
The Ballarat Environment Network produce a great newsletter and the February edition features a lovely article and photos by Emily Noble showing 3 different Honey-eater species together using a water-filled rut that happens to be one of the few water sources remaining in the reserve. Let me know if you would like a copy.

Geelong Environmental Film Festival. 
http://www.slf.org.au/event/environmental-film-festival/

On the 19th and 20th of February Stuart set up a FOBB stand at the inaugural Geelong Environmental Film Festival. While I was supposed to stay at the table, the films were so good that I spent the two days watching them instead. Film is certainly a great way to get your message out and the films on Port Philip Bay, Plastic pollution and the search for the Spotted Quoll in the Otways using tracker dogs were all excellent. Try and head along next year during the Geelong Sustainable Living Festival.

Further Bush Fencing.
Fencing of the two other larger blocks in the Bannockburn Bush is also well into the planning stage and will be conducted in part by the Green Army crew, who were also conveniently at the Geelong Environmental Film Festival. This work is scheduled to commence in July.

Coming Events:

•  Sunday March 27. The last Sunday in March will be  Easter Sunday, so we won’t schedule another working bee after the big clean up but if you were not able to get along on March 3, by all means do a quick whip around to check for any other problems.

•  Working Bee Sunday April 24, 10am – 3pm. There is bound to be something to do!

•  Lake Bolac Eel Festival April 8-10. This is always a great event. See http://www.eelfestival.org.au/

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush