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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush

Yellow Gum restoration hots up.
We have now planted out 38 of our new batch of Yellow Gums raised by Kate. Thanks to Loris, Lance, Helen and Kate for this good work on Sunday May 22.

We have also completed most of the Sugar gum felling and sucker-bashing that has been required in the planting area. Some of the ‘tops’ from Brimacombe Earthmoving’s, felling operations still remain and our new Volunteers, Anthony and Peter are getting stuck into that for us.

We have also made a start on forming small planting clearings within the dense Acacia paradoxa in the NE corner near Old Base Rd. The paradoxa is good small bird habitat but needs to be balanced with some larger trees.

National Tree Day Sunday July 31
If you would like to help with our planting project on NTD, please register via the Treeday website: This will be our major planting event but we will also keep working on smaller boutique plantings, now the soil is sufficiently moist.

Bannockburn Reserve Sign; floral upgrade
We have been slowly preparing the hydrophobic, Oxalis-ridden soil beneath the Bannockburn Recreation Reserve sign on Old Base Road for replanting with a range of forbs and grasses. Hopefully we should have a nice grassy display in the spring.

Firewood collecting…again
As we have 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. This 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:

Many thanks to Peter Watts and Anthony Bekker who have accepted the role of ‘firewood volunteers’.

Under supervision from FOBB and with a special form to prove their legitimacy they are helping us with our planting and clearing projects and keeping the families warm as well.

If you do need firewood, but can’t volunteer, contact the local wood suppliers or Bryan Cartledge, the licensed BEN contractor on M: 0412 746 868 or email: (That’s b underscore k.   b_k).

Helping out the Scarlet Robin?
Last month I put out a request regarding planting habitat for woodland birds between Anglesea and the Brisbane Ranges, with a particular emphasis on the Scarlet Robin. Late in May, due to Kate’s good karma we spent 3 days with the Surf Coast and Inland Plains Network, (SCIPN), doing just that in the Freshwater Creek area.

Manna Gum Slaughter
On Thursday May 12, a Skyrider chainsaw team out of Ballarat did some serious pruning beneath the Ausnet easement along Red Rd. We were under the impression, after a discussion with Select Solutions back in March, that the graceful old Manna Gum near the West tower would be OK to leave unpruned as it was mature and beneath the highest part of the wires. Unfortunately the Skyrider contractors had other ideas and did some serious damage to it. Select Solutions has apologised and agreed to get an arborist to assess what can be done to limit the damage and disease. There was also a breakage in the wire along the Ausnet easement, which has now been repaired. 

That black bag of very smelly sheep remains on Red Rd has also been disposed of properly.

Coming Events:
Working Bee Sunday June 19. 10 – 3. More paradoxa thinning and grass planting.

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

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.

National Tree Planting Day Sunday July 31.  Details above. Go to the National Tree day website

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush

Kate & Lance Sucker Bashing

Peter and the Yellow Gum branch

Anthony reducing pressure on a Cherry ballart