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Friends of the Bannockburn Bush


20th Yellow Gum Flowering Festival Report 
On Sunday July 23 the Friends group celebrated the significant 20 year Anniversary of our first Yellow Gum Flowering Festival held on Saturday July 22 1997.


Trevor Pescott addressed that first meeting (in the rain) explaining how important the yellow Gum blossom and nectar were to birds such as the nationally endangered Swift parrot and he again braved the weather to report on the progress of the fauna Survey that the Geelong Field Naturalists Club is currently conducting. 

Significant was the bird count (due largely to the flowering gums) and the poor mammalian fauna results, due to clearing of native vegetation, disturbance and feral animals such as cats and foxes. 

Later in the year we will conduct more trapping and also use Harp traps to record bat species. Tile quadrats have been laid but no reptiles have yet found their potential new homes. It takes a few months for the ground beneath the tiles to ‘mature’ to the reptiles’ liking. Spiders, cockroaches, ants, millipedes and worms are the early colonisers. Foxes like to place their scats on top of the tiles.

Vale Loris Mason
Loris Mason was one of the original members of FOBB and one of our most enthusiastic, hardworking and knowledgeable members. Sadly she passed away on Wednesday July 26 after a brave battle. 

Loris was renown for battling Serrated tussock, collecting Aluminium cans to trade for knitting wool and for supplying our working bees with tasty Anzac biscuits. 

The Friends of Bannockburn Bush wish her husband Ken and sister Mary Dixon our deepest sympathy. She was much loved by all her knew her and will be greatly missed. Thank you Loris for such a great life lived so unselfishly.

Loris is 3rd from left

Survey cameras.
Our cameras are continuing to provide valuable data on changing usage of the bush. Last month we had more photographers and even film makers as well as dog walkers, runners, pram pushers and kids exploring.

Gate Crashers
The main gate on the Bannockburn-Shelford road has suffered a fatal blow and has been replaced with a large, nailed log. 

Nice Rocks
We are still working on our rock placement program and hope for more action in August.

Free Firewood and coppicing program
We have welcomed several more happy workers to this program and there is still plenty of coppicing and firewood to go. 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.

Serious Progress on the Harvey Rd Soil dumps
Many thanks to Golden Plains Shire, Paul Buyel earthmoving and VicRoads for impressive progress on the cleaning up of the Harvey Road site. The soil has been carted off to the old Teesdale tip site for capping purposes and the site has been fenced prior to revegetation by Treehome Nursery. 

VicRoads are using the site as of Offset against tree clearing work they need to do in similar habitat to allow for overtaking lane work between Bannockburn and Meredith on the Midland Highway.  

For more detail including a map, see https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/planning-and-projects/regional-road-projects/midland-highway-duplication-planning-study

We are currently working with Vicroads to organise a community planting day (Scouts or School?) asap to take advantage of the bare site. 

Teesdale to Bannockburn Bike trail.
Members of FOBB and the new Bannockburn Community Planning Group, along with the Teesdale Community Planning Group met on Saturday July 15 to investigate a route for a gravel (definitely NOT CONCRETE) bike and walking track between Teesdale and Bannockburn. The route is pretty straightforward but some technical problems to be resolved included a crossing at Stony Creek and a large patch of Sun Orchids, Thelymitra species. to be bypassed.

Coming Events:
Sundry Coppicing and firewood gathering by appointment.

Saturday August 19 at Sunset on Stevens Rd is Felling Day. Share an ale or wine and remember the ignorance of Barwon Water in 1997 when they sent in the loggers to destroy a now protected Yellow Gum woodland. 

Sunday August 20, working bee from 10 -2. All welcome. Meet at the main entrance initially.

Stuart McCallum
Contact: Email: stuartmccallum@westnet.com.au  
Mob: 0438 904 961

Friends of Bannockburn Bush