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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Bush Dumper is required to remove all dumped materials.
The person who allegedly dumped over 14 Hino truckloads of subsoil plus assorted waste plastic, weeds, tiles and timber in the Bannockburn Bush is being dealt with by the EPA legal team and, with DELWP close supervision, is being required to remove all the dumped material.


This was to happen mid September but the wet weather has delayed the clean-up process. Unfortunately we have not been able to find out just WHERE it is being removed to. This is now urgent as the material has already begun to sprout weeds that threaten the local flora.

Green Army completes the fencing. Gates to be installed shortly.
Over the last couple of weeks the superb Green Army team has completed the installation of fencing along the Mason Road boundary.  They are a great group of bright young people gaining valuable experience and training. They have worked very hard in some miserable, wet conditions without complaint. A few of them are studying Natural Resource Management or Engineering and already have excellent flora and fauna identification skills. They now have good fencing skills.

One of them, Kate Martin, has provided the reptile and Sun Orchid photos for this article. Now that the perimeter fencing has been completed, Tim Ramm’s Rural Fencing is able to install gates at each of the road entries to the bush.

While we do not wish to restrict access to the bush for sensitive and legitimate users we may be required to fit locks if abuse of the bush continues.

We are aware that a very few selfish people have spoilt the bush environment for other users. It is a recreation and nature reserve not a training track for dirt bikes, 4WD’s or a rubbish tip. Is anyone missing two brown sofas? They were dumped near the top track off Mason Rd.

If you require access to the reserve for legitimate reasons and find that the gate is locked, contact FOBB on 0438 904 961 (Stuart) or BEN on 0408 512 033 (Roger).

If you require access for a horse, a suitable Hurdle is being constructed on Old Base Rd.

Security cameras in operation

Please be advised that FOBB maintains a number of motion sensitive cameras in the bush. Don’t do anything in there that you would not want your mum to see.

 

Photo: Eastern Bearded Dragon - by Kate Martin

Council Elections, vote wisely.
Golden Plains Shire ratepayers are in the middle of Council elections and we have a chance to choose who will best represent the needs of our community and our Environment. I suggest that you look carefully at the backgrounds business interests, vested interests and skills of the candidates before voting. Some of my concerns with council over the years regarding environmental matters have come about because the councillors (and a few of the council officers) just don’t have the scientific understanding or ecological knowledge for the job. We need councillors who understand environmental issues relating to water, land management and conservation. We really don’t need any councillors with vested interests of any kind.

Bumper Spring for Grasslands
The wildflowers in the bush are coming into flower and brightening the place with vivid splashes of red, yellow, orange, blue and white. It’s well worth taking a slow walk through any of the native veg areas to see what you can spot. Get in touch with me if you need a plant ID pamphlet.

The local railway lines are also well worth a visit as these grassland sites host a slightly different assemblage of plants from the grassy woodlands. Check out McPhillips Rd or the area near the Murgheboluc railway crossing on Harvey Rd

New Grant Opportunity from DELWP.
Our colleagues at DELWP in Ballarat have asked FOBB and BEN to submit an application for funding to do more conservation work in the bush. Roger Thomas and I put our heads together and have submitted a brief list of 3 urgent tasks:

Group 1, Prevention and Protection
Exclusion fencing of unauthorised vehicles to prevent soil compaction, root disturbance, weed invasion  and hydrology alteration of the  significant population of mature and regenerating Yellow Gums.  

Group 2, Removal, Recovery and Revegetation
Remove all illegally dumped garden rubbish waste, with weed and/or pathogens that will complete with, harm and endanger areas of EVC Open Forest Grassy Woodlands - status critically endangered.

Group 3, Assessment, Wildlife Survey
While the Flora and Avian fauna of the Reserve has been well documented, we have limited data on small mammals, bats, reptiles and invertebrates.

Spring (11 – 13 November) on the Victorian Volcanic Plain: Native Grasslands, Stony Rises, Seasonal Wetlands and Salt Lakes.
We have now finalised our arrangements and the Eventbrite page for booking is live with tickets at $65.  The URL to book is: https://vvpspring2016.eventbrite.com.au

Stuart McCallum and Lincoln Kern will be your guides on Saturday. Lunch will be hosted by Fiona and Alun Morris at the Historic Gnotuk Homestead. We will then visit wetland and grassy woodland sites in the Stony Rises.

Rod White, from Greening Australia’s Grassy Groundcover Recovery team will be our key speaker on Saturday evening and together with VicRoads, Frank Carland, will host the grassland tour on Sunday. After such excellent spring rain, the grassland sites are looking spectacular. Lunch will probably be at Lake Tooliorook.

If you are able to stay till Monday morning, I’ll take you into the beautiful but rarely visited Pomborneit North Nature Conservation Reserve on the western shore of Lake Corangamite.

If you feel you need more information before purchasing a ticket, please send us an email at vvpbiosphere@gmail.com (where Christine Connelly will look after you) or contact Stuart.

A detailed map and itinerary will be available soon and will be sent to all participants.

Please feel free to share this invitation.

Firewood Collection.
To buy firewood, contact Bryan Cartledge 0412 746 868 who delivers Sustainable Sugar Gum harvested legitimately from the Bannockburn Bush plantations. Royalties flow back into maintaining the bush.

We still have a need for a few areas to be cleared of felled timber where we wish to replant so contact Stuart on 0438 904 961 if you wish to help with this work. We can issue you with a permit.

Special thanks to Liam Jeffrey and Cameron Steele for helping to clear the fence line in advance of the Green Army crew.

Coming Events:
October 16. Frankly Day observance. It’s a long, shaggy dog story but October 16 has special significance for members of the Bannockburn Yellow Gum Action Group who were sued for defamation by ex-con Frank DeStefano. We will toast these memories.

Sunday October 23. 10-3 Working Bee to remove the dumped junk and serrated tussock we have stockpiled at the end of Old Base Rd. We will have a rubbish skip funded by our friends at DELWP.

Apologies, this was to be held last month but we had to give the fencing work priority while we had the Green Army Team available.

Stuart McCallum,   Friends of Bannockburn Bush

Bluetongue Lizard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Whipsnake - photographs by Kate Martin