In mid-December two project staff (Steve Joblin & Bertram Lobert) toured several of the existing project sites, as well as a couple of the newly proposed project sites.
The object of the tour was to assess revegetation, direct seeding and natural regeneration progress at several of the newly fenced and planted sites and to undertake inspections of the sites recently added to the project.
One of the new project sites is part of a broader landscape-scale, private property rehabilitation project that has been running for several years. The property sits on the Yea Spur and the owner aims to rehabilitate its many hundreds of hectares of steep, cleared land over the next few decades. Funding from this project will expand the area treated on this property this year by 28 ha.
At one of the finished projects sites (Granter, No. 5), we examined how site rehabilitation was faring, generally. The site was ripped in June 2013 and planting occurred in July-August; direct seeding was completed in mid-September. By mid-December, seedling survival was looking good, with approx 70+% survival rates (though some browsing was evident). The success of direct seeding is more difficult to evaluate in the short term (seeds germinate at different times, when they’re ready), though some had already emerged. Results of 2012 direct seeding at site 1, suggests we’ll soon see more seedlings at this site.
Particularly noticeable was the healthy natural growth of shrubs (mainly wattles), some already several years old, and ground-layer plants (esp Kangaroo Grass) now protected from stock grazing. At the same site (No. 5) at least one of the recently installed nest-boxes was already occupied – unfortunately, with Honey Bees! Another job for the list.