Revegetation got under way at the ‘Hidden Valley’ site on the 26th of April, with a group of six volunteers from the ANZ bank. The ANZ volunteers, assisted by Chris Cobern (Upper Goulburn Landcare Network Fire Recovery Officer), landholders Terry and Janet Hubbard and myself, managed to plant 230 seedlings at the top of the valley – made easier as a result of John Hamilton’s precision ripping. Surprisingly, some of the rip lines had moist soil about 150mm down, despite almost non-existent rainfall. We would normally not commence planting in this country until June, but as the volunteers were available we decided to start. All seedlings were planted with a soil wetting crystal and were watered in with a litre of water per plant.
The ANZ group were followed by two groups from Camberwell High School the following week. Some of these students were also involved in putting up nest boxes in the project area. These boxes will be monitored as part of the project. Working with Chris Cobern, these students were lucky enough to find seven Sugar Gliders in residence in previously installed boxes on the property – five in one box! The use of a specially designed camera on an extension pole enabled the students to view these gorgeous animals. One of these boxes also had evidence of a Brush-tailed Phascogale having used it.
Just over 700 seedlings out of 7,500 allocated to the site, have now been planted at ‘Hidden Valley’. Planting is now on hold as the country is desperately in need of a drink. The first 4 months of 2013 have only seen @ 95 mm of rain fall in the area. Rain is hoped for on Sunday, and even 10 mm will make a difference. As always, fingers crossed.