Great preparation went into a day when an enthusiastic team of young people from Ernst and Young were to arrive to help us fence on some very difficult terrain. The refreshment site prepared at the lower end of the valley resembled an army camp and most of the organisation had a similar character about it. The team arrived at 09:30 hours on Monday, December 3 and were ferried into the Valley in 4 wheel drives to face a safety briefing and receive PPE gear over morning tea.
By 10:15 the volunteers had been broken into 4 small groups, led by Terry Hubbard the land owner and stalwarts from Strath Creek Landcare: Trent, David W., David R., Joel, and Alan from the UGLN Fire Recovery Team. The tasks involved ramming in steel posts and stringing wires over a 1.3 km stretch from the top of the valley to the bottom. This fence provides stock exclusion to around 50 ha of land to be protected and revegetated next season. It also allows Terry to use deferred grazing on 60 ha to encourage natural regeneration within a grazing regime.
A great lunch was served up at the mess tent at 12:45 hours and the participants, suitably fortified by the efforts of Janet (land owner)and Heather (Strath Creek Landcare), marched out to even more productive efforts, finally retiring from the field at 16:00 hours.
As well as fencing, we encountered a bit of wildlife, including a couple of Jacky Lizards.
It was a rewarding day for all involved and included the volunteers learning that the quickest way down a hill was sliding on their backsides, much to the amusement of onlookers, especially when one of the guys encountered a bump. One of the volunteers writes:
“ Thank you for having us yesterday. Everyone had a great time helping out to build the fences. Especially enjoyable with the fantastic view!
Everyone involved was very helpful, and patient, teaching us how to thread the wire, which we really appreciated. We’d also like to thank those that helped with morning tea and lunch. It was so kind of them to create such a lovely feast for us… it was well needed after the morning of work! “
We all left the site tired and injury free. The supervisors packed up efficiently and retired for a light beverage, keen to continue partnerships with other such engaging and happy volunteers further in the development of this Project.