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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Brand new Bannockburn Reserve Flora and Fauna brochure about to be released.
Our Threatened Species Initiative funded brochure, featuring many of the interesting and threatened plants and animals of the reserve is now at the printers and will be released in May.


This brochure has been a collaborative effort of FOBB members as well as contributors to brochures focussing on other regions on the Victorian Volcanic Plain. While most of the images in our special edition have been taken by members within the reserve, it will also be useful for identifying species throughout the VVP.

The first print run will be for 2000 copies and while some people (such as the Bannockburn and Lethbridge Cubs and Scouts and our firewood coppicing crews) will receive free copies in recognition of their efforts in our work, we will be asking for a gold coin donation to go towards FOBB projects.

Well done DELWP for the TSPI.
Most conservation groups get frustrated with the random changes in environmental laws and practices that come with changes of government at federal, state and even local level. Conservation tends to be treated like a political football.  It has usually been the local community groups that have provided the continuity necessary for proper protection of our natural resources. 

So the instigation of the Threatened Species Protection Initiative project by DELWP was welcomed by the conservation community. 

At the SWIFFT video conference on April 27, Michelle Butler from DELWP provided a comprehensive summary of how $6m was spent over a number of excellent projects, our own FOBB fencing and brochure included. You can access more detail about this at https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/conserving-threatened-species/threatened-species-protection-initiative

And on the SWIFFT website at http://www.swifft.net.au/  The South West Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams website is a great place to keep up with events and to report significant sightings.

What’s all this about BEN?
Many readers of this article have asked me about BEN. The Ballarat Environment Network has responsibility delegated from DELWP for management of many regional reserves, including our Bannockburn Bush. At the same SWIFFT conference as above, BEN’s Ray Draper (think frogs) gave a summary of the scope of their work. If you want to find out more about them go to that SWIFFT website or check them out on facebook.

Geelong Field Naturalists Fauna surveys commenced.
The move to improve the amount of fauna data regarding the Bannockburn Reserve has commenced.

The starting point was the setting out of roofing tile grids; which provide reproducible, easy to quantify habitat for small mammals, frogs, snakes and lizards as well as invertebrates. Tile grids will be set out during May and Elliott traps will also be deployed. 

Harp traps will be set up in October to check for bats.

If you are interested in, and would like to help with this project please contact Stuart for times and dates.

Mindless Quad bike vandalism continues.
While most 4WD drivers and dirt bikers have finally accepted the important conservation role played by the reserve, we are still having trouble getting through to a quad biker who considers it reasonable to destroy our fencing so that s/he can break into the reserve in the dark and hoon around on the buckshot gravel tracks. If you know of a quad bike that originates from somewhere near or on Stephens Rd and rides illegally to Masons Rd before cutting our fencing, please get in touch. The bike seems to have one big headlight, centrally mounted.

Firewood collection and coppicing program
During April, the number of people taking advantage of the free firewood deal in return for two hours of volunteer coppicing has increased significantly. If you do two hours coppicing for us, you can take home a trailer load of wood.

We have now completed coppicing of over 12,000 square meters in the Gatty coupe and several trailer loads of high grade firewood have been re housed.

There is still lots to do so, if you are happy to help managing these Sugar gum coupes for the next rotation in 15 or so years, please contact Stuart on M: 0438 904 961 or better, email; stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au, to do a deal.

Rain, rain, keep coming.
Looks like the Red gum wetland in the east section of the reserve will have a good refilling this year.

The fire dam on Old Base Rd which we topped up last year is now overflowing and I have heard that some of the road puddles are deep enough for small dogs to paddle in. There is no truth to the rumour that they may contain crocodiles; just Tree Dragons which are listed in our new brochure.



Biodiversity plan 2037: another nice move from State Government.
From: https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-plan

Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 is Victoria’s plan to stop the decline of our native plants and animals and improve our natural environment so it is healthy, valued and actively cared for.

The Victorian Government has delivered on its commitment to develop Victoria’s biodiversity plan, Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037. Coupled with reviews of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) and native vegetation clearing regulations, the Plan will ensure that Victoria has a modern and effective approach to protecting and managing Victoria’s biodiversity.

The plan covers the subject with chapters on; Facing the challenge, A fresh vision for Victoria’s biodiversity in a time of climate change, A healthy environment for healthy Victorians,  Linking our society and economy to the environment,  Investing together to protect our environment,  Biodiversity response planning,  Working with Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, Better protection and management of our biodiversity,  Government leadership in delivering the Plan 

An Implementation Plan to accompany Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 is in development, due for release in 2017. (This is the pointy end!  Stuart)

Snowy Mint-bush plant out
Part of the work for our TSPI grant included taking cutting of Prostanthera nivea, Snowy Mint-bush to be planted out in autumn. We will be taking advantage of the great rain this month and doing this work on Sunday April 30 from 10am.

Large Rocks wanted 
As part of our MILL grant, BEN and FOBB will be placing some nice big rocks at selected locations to restrict illegal access to the reserve. If you have a pile of large rocks in your paddock that you would like to donate to a worthy cause please contact us. 

Coming Events:
Sunday May 21. FOBB working bee from 10am till 2pm. Planting Clover Glycine and mending fences.

Sundry Coppicing and firewood gathering by appointment.

Stuart McCallum
Friends of Bannockburn Bush

Contact: Email: stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au

Mob: 0438 904 961

Hey Quad Bike ... Leave our Fence Alone

 

Quad Bike Light - Sunday 24th April 2017