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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Yellow Gum Restoration
Now that the first phase of the bush fencing is complete, we have commenced preparation for replanting over 400 Yellow Gums and 20 Gold dust wattles into selected sections from which Sugar gums have recently been harvested.


Following the harvesting two years ago, the stumps have re-sprouted and some Sugar gum ‘sucker-bashing’ has been required.  The harvested section also contained several Iron barks and Mahogany gums which have also re-sprouted or produced seedlings. As these trees provide good habitat for fauna via their blossoms, they have been allowed to remain.

The areas to be replanted are mainly along the strip beside the Bannockburn-Shelford Rd. We have been pleasantly surprised to see so much indigenous vegetation regrowing so well following the harvesting despite the dry season. Another benefit is the almost complete lack of weeds, so our new trees will not have too much competition for food and water.

Many thanks to Kate, Harvey and Fran for their good clearing work on Sunday April 24.

National Tree Day Sunday July 31st
If you would like to help with this planting project on NTD, please register via the treeday website:  http://treeday.planetark.org/

Firewood collecting … again
As we have three commercial operators harvesting Sugar Gum from the reserve, private firewood gathering is no longer allowed. 

However we do have a need to thin out some sections of young Sugar gums and to reduce fuel load beneath habitat trees which results in some ‘surplus’ wood that you could take as compensation. 

We also need to clear the fence lines for the Green Army. If you would like to go on our volunteer list to help with this work send me an email:  stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au

Help out the Scarlet Robin?  http://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/scarlet-robin
If you live or own property anywhere in a broad band between the Brisbane Ranges and Anglesea you are well placed to help out the Scarlet Robin, (Petroica boodang) one of our most attractive birds. 

Grace lewis of the Geelong Field Naturalist Club has suggested that we could fairly easily help out this and other woodland/grassland birds by enhancing the habitat between Anglesea and the Brisbane ranges.  

Small birds like the robins and wrens don’t like to stray too far from the safety of shrubbery and a quick look at the countryside in this area shows up enormous gaps which are just too challenging for them. 

If we can rebuild the vegetation corridors or at least reduce the unsheltered gaps we can improve our rural environment and help out many birds and mammals. Please get in touch so that we can do some more detailed planning, organising grants etc.

Free lawnmower
We have been surprised and honoured over the last few weeks to have been hosting a rather large male kangaroo. He turned up on April 8 and has been quietly mowing his way down our septic transpiration bed. This season has been so dry that this the only green grass in the area. He has been surprisingly relaxed about our day to day presence and we wish him well in his future efforts. 

VNPA Booklet
The Victorian National Parks Association, a non government organisation set up to support our massively underfunded national parks, marine and terrestrial, has produced a very handy booklet for people with an interest in grasslands. See: http://vnpa.org.au for a free download.

Start with the grasslands - Design guidelines to support native grasslands in urban areas. Victoria's urban grasslands are endangered. The Victorian National Parks Association, with support from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, has been developing design guidelines to support native grasslands in urban areas.

DELWP Submissions
On behalf of FOBB or the VVP Biosphere Inc, comments have been submitted to the three latest consultation projects or reviews from DELWP; Biodiversity, Native vegetation and Water. They mean well but will have to find a lot of money to support their objectives. The native veg review closed at the end of April but you can still submit re Victorias water or Biodiversity issues: http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/water and  http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/biodiversity.

Yet more dumping cleaned up
FOBB members had to do another rush clean up at the end of April when some tosser dropped off a trailer load of car parts, food scraps, nappies, clothing etc along Red Road. They left a few phone numbers and receipts among the junk so we may be able to track them down.

If you do see stuff dumped in the bush we would appreciate it if you could do what you can to clean it up to keep the place nice. And always keep an eye (and camera) out for suspicious loads in the area. The police can only follow up if they have good evidence.

 

Coming Events:
Working Bee Sunday May 22 10 – 3

Working Bee Sunday June 19. 10 – 3.

Saturday July 23  will be our 19th Yellow Gum Flowering Festival.

National Tree Planting Day Sunday July 31

go to the national Tree day website

It will be a day to celebrate our progress in protecting this wonderful reserve and promoting its importance to the wider community. We have very few places like this left. We must look after them, not just for our recreation and scientific study but also for the flora and fauna they support. Remember that there is less than 1% of this type of habitat remaining. All the rest has been destroyed for housing, roads, farming etc.

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush

 

 

Our New Lawnmower in Residence