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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


Geelong Field Naturalists Fauna Surveys
To date the only native mammalian fauna we have detected in the reserve has been Possums, Kangaroos and Wallabies. Unfortunately we have also filmed a healthy fox and a black rat. Feral cats have also been spotted and 2 have been dispatched.


We have yet to find any reptiles with the Roofing Tile arrays but they take a while to establish a population. An inspection is planned for July, so data should be available for the August report. 

Survey cameras.
Our combination of wildlife and gate-monitoring cameras is proving very informative. It is reassuring to see the change in reserve usage from damaging vehicle traffic to walkers, Mountain bike rider, dog walkers, pram pushers, hand holders, GPS CEO’s, Park Runners, horse riders and more. 

Please report any suspicious behaviour in and around the reserve so we can help the Police to follow it up.

Gate Crashers
Unfortunately we still have at least one driver who can’t take “Management vehicles only” for an answer and the gate at the south end of Old Base Rd was recently rammed and damaged … but it still held and will be repaired in due course.

Nice Rocks
Thanks to the people who have responded to our request for rocks to help protect our reserve. We probably have enough for the time being. My apologies to those that I have not been able to follow up.

Free Firewood and coppicing program
This program continues with many happy workers and ‘customers’ but there is still lots to do, so if you are happy to help managing these Sugar gum coupes for the next rotation, please contact Stuart on M: 0438 904 961 or better, email; stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au, to do a deal. Dates and times depend on your own availability. We usually start at 10am and after two hours coppicing, you are welcome to collect a trailer load of Sugar Gum firewood.

FOBB Flora and Fauna brochure. 
Our new colourful brochure is now available and proving very popular. Contact me for a copy or you can buy them for $2 from Sharron at the fruit and veggie shop.

Twentieth Yellow Gum Flowering Festival Sunday July 23 10 am.
This coming July 23rd will mark 20 years since FOBB and other supporters tackled Barwon Water and the old guard of Golden Plains Shire over the unnecessary destruction of protected Yellow Gum woodland to make way for the construction of sewage ponds. Yellow gum blossom with its nectar and pollen, is a crucial source of winter food for many birds, insects and possums. The Swift parrot flies all the way from Tasmania for this energy boost in preparation for nesting in hollows. Removing old trees with hollows is therefore a real no brainer.

You are all welcome to come along to our Festival, enjoy a nature walk and talk, partake of some pumpkin soup (it’s yellow) and gourmet damper and generally enjoy a drink around the fire and spin a few yarns.

We can also give you an update on the fauna surveys.

No more trail bikes or ATV’s?
Our break and enter ATV rider appears to have matured and found other ways of using his time and only one trail bike has been detected fleeing down Old Base Rd

Finally some action on the Harvey Rd Soil dumps
After years of complaining to the Shire about these weedy, ugly soil dumps, it appears that they are off to a new home at last. On Wednesday June 28 a loader had managed to remove about half of the main dump.

Let’s hope they do proper weed control at the destination. The material they used from here for the Stevenson Road levy has created a massive weed problem for the grassland reserve beside the railway line.

Working bee Report Sunday June 25.
We finally managed to complete two tasks that were long overdue; cleaning up car ejected junk along the Bannockburn-Shelford Rd and mending the fence in that same section. 

Are you game to do an IQ Test?  Select the best answer to each question.
Q1. Which of these things are known to be bad for your health? 

a.  Soft drink
b.  Fast food such as Maccas, Hungry Jacks etc 
c.  Canned Mixed Spirits
d.  Beer while you are driving
e.  All of the above.

Q2. Which of these items were most abundant in the 7 super bags of junk collected from the roadside?

a.  Soft drink cans and bottles.
b.  Fast food containers and wrappers from Maccas, Hungry Jacks etc 
c.  Mixed Spirits cans such as Canadian Club soda and Jim Beam and Coke.
d.  Beer cans and bottles.
e.  Farming debris and car parts; wire, machinery manuals, tyre fragments, spoilers, hub caps etc.
f.  All in about equal amounts.

Q3. When driving while eating or drinking, what do you do with your rubbish?

a.  Keep a container in the car to put it in and dispose of it properly when you get home.
b.  Just chuck it out the window for others to deal with (and ultimately put up your rates)
c.  Avoid drinking alcohol and driving.
d.  Have a Keep-Cup and save yourself 50 cents when you get a take-away coffee.

Q4. When driving through the area, particularly through bushland or grassland, what do you prefer to see?

a.  Clean roadsides free of rubbish.
b.  Discarded bottles and cans that act like reflectors at night.

Scoring: 
Add up your scores from each question according to this system.
Q1. a = 1, b = 1, c = 1, d = 1, e = 4              Total………

Q2. a = 1, b = 1, c = 1, d = 1, e = 1, f = 5     Total………

Q3. a = 5, b = 0, c = 5, d = 5                          Total……..

Q4. a = 5, b = 0                                               Total……..

Total of all Questions……………….

Results and IQ indication. 

Your Score:   
15-19  Doing well.  4-15  Need more work.  0-4  Need a good hard look

Historical bluestone kerbing?
While cleaning up litter from the roadside I noticed a very well constructed section of bluestone kerbing just opposite the Stephens Rd T intersection, where the Juncus tussocks indicate that it is often quite wet. We would be interested to know if you have any more information about this.

From the Archives
I have recently received a copy of a Biodiversity Assessment conducted on our reserve between 1993 and 2011 by Tim D’Ombrain Biodiversity Services Pty Ltd.

The report highlights all the problems that have led up to our fencing and gating of the reserve which I have covered in previous articles. But it also reveals how the lack of resources and continuity between Parks Vic and DSE has also been a major problem with little allocation of state resources to management issues. 

Fortunately those days are now over with BEN (with FOBB) taking a much more active role in management and having useful income from the Sugar Gum harvesting program.

The main management issues identified were:
•  Unrestricted access.  (Now almost fixed).
•  Woody weed occurrence or infestation.  (Getting under control through DELWP grants)
•  Littering. (Clean up days with the Scouts and Education program underway. See IQ Test.)

Management Recommendations:
•  Remove Pines (Almost all done by AKD with some seedlings still present)
•  Spot Spray woody weeds  (In Progress)
•  Remove Litter. (Thanks to the Scouts and GPS help, almost all gone and future dumping is prevented by gating)
•  Rationalise Tracks through the reserve, closing and rehabilitating unnecessary tracks. (Many have been closed and bollarded others yet to be completed. Bollards and rocks will be deployed for this)

We would like to thank the whole Bannockburn Community for their support in helping to stay on top of these issues. We always need more help and more active members. Our Sunday July 23 Yellow gum Flowering Festival would be a great opportunity to come along and see what you can do to help.

Coming Events:
Sundry Coppicing and firewood gathering by appointment.

Sunday July 23. Our Twentieth yellow Gum Flowering Festival. Big celebration this year. Be there.

Stuart McCallum
Friendsof Bannockburn Bush

Contact: Email: stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au

Mob: 0438 904 961