Ripping has been done with precision and care.
Managing the steep hills of Hidden Valley (Sites 3A & 3B) is being achieved with a combination of controlled grazing and revegetation. But, what is the best way to encourage woodland regeneration on steep, stony slopes, where growing conditions are tough and where access is difficult?
It took quite a few months and many conversations within the project and with machine operators, before we finally felt confident of our plan and ripping got underway in Hidden Valley. An experienced machine operator, John Hamilton from just over the range at Dairy Creek, took two days to finish the job, pulling 3 tines behind his dozer. The end result looks great and has clearly been done with precision and care. Continue reading
Local provenance Sticky Hop Bush (Dodonaea viscosa) direct seeded and doing well.
With the first eight months of the project completed, it was time for the Steering Committee to get out into the paddock and see first hand how the project sites were progressing.
While Steve (Proj. Coordinator) and Terry & David (local volunteers and Landcare advocates), were already very familiar with the sites, having spent many hours erecting several km’s of fences and coordinating volunteers, the rest of us needed an on-site update of the project’s progress. Continue reading
New Landcarers Wayne & Pam Watson, with their new fence!
On the 18th of January, fencing began on another site (Watson’s) which has added 11.8 ha of remnant woodland to the corridor being protected and revegetated between Mt. Disappointment State Forest and the King Parrot Creek. Watson’s site joins the lower end of ‘Hidden Valley’ and includes a riparian zone along the valley floor. The seasonal creek that runs here, drains out of the ‘Hidden Valley’ site into King Parrot creek and has erosion along the banks and heavy blackberry and some pussy willow infestation along the watercourse. The weeds are being addressed by Wayne & Pam and erosion will hopefully be arrested by some of the revegetation work. Continue reading
The 1st of February saw Terry out again on his trusty Fiat, going where only eagles dare. The land holder, Kay, couldn’t bear to watch, but Terry is well acquainted with his machinery and ability in hill country. This is the last property in the Project to be fenced and is also the property where Kay discovered the endangered Striped Legless Lizard last year (see our sister site Focus on Fauna for more) – what possessed her to pick up a creature that resembles a snake, we still wonder. And if anyone else sees these animals in our district, please let us know. Continue reading
A dramatic sunset lit up the sky over the revegetation corridor at the Three Sisters in Flowerdale on Friday evening 15th of February. The heavy sky brought with it a tremendous lightning storm and about 2mm of rain to our thirsty landscape.
There were a number of lightning strikes in the area including the one pictured sending up smoke in the corridor at the back of the Three Sisters. This fire was called in by hang glider pilots flying off the Three Sisters and was quickly attacked by Terry Hubbard before back up arrived from the Strath Creek, Flowerdale and Glenburn Brigades. This was one of 3 strikes that kept the Hubbard’s busy – just what you need when you are hosting a National Landcare gathering!
The mysterious incisions on the young Long-leaf Box that were pictured in an earlier post (click HERE) remain a mystery. On the 12/12/12 around midnight, the movement camera set up by our animal detectives from Focus on Fauna caught something. Opinion still remains divided. The picture portrays a ghostly image of something moving at speed, having leapt from the ground onto the tree trunk. It is hard to say what it is, but there seems to be a body and long tail mostly hidden behind the tree trunk. It looks too big for a Sugar Glider. It may be a Brush-tailed Possum.
Ernst & Young volunteers still smiling at the end of day!
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.
A well-deserved morning cuppa.
Possible Glider feed-tree in Hidden Valley.
What Happened to this Tree?
This young Long-leaf Box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx) was spotted on the side of the access track in the “ Hidden Valley” Restoration site. These strange scars ran the length of the entire trunk and some of the upper branches. They are quite deep and glistened with sap in the wounds. Is it possible the culprit is the Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis)? Or maybe it is the work of the much smaller and more common Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)? Or perhaps it’s something altogether different? The opinions of our Fauna Survey Team are divided.
The next move is to get some cameras and sound recording devices set up in the area with the assistance of Focus on Fauna to try and obtain evidence as to the animal responsible for the damage to this tree. Continue reading
Paul and Joel fencing on a steep slope, Grey Box trees in background.
The 22nd of October saw the start of our first fence line in the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project.
Allan Stafford from Benalla, who is well known locally as being part of the UGLN Fire Recovery Team overseen by Chris Cobern, has been seconded along with his co – worker John to work with us on the three sites that need fencing in the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project.
John hails from the northern suburbs of Melbourne and has put a tremendous effort into the fire recovery as a volunteer. Now he is doing the same with our project also as a volunteer. Continue reading
Aerial view of the direct seeding.
In Early October this year, the first of our Carbon Farming Demonstration Sites began it’s journey back to providing ecosystem services, thanks to help from local direct-seeding contractors Janet & Justus Hagen and landholder Steve Joblin.
This site was chosen early on in the project and was one of the few project sites suitable for mechanical direct-seeding. Though getting a little late in the season for mass plantings, good soil moisture from the last two wet years meant good conditions for direct-seeding. And who knows what next season will be like? Continue reading