Check New Town Rivulet for Erica and other weeds at Wellington Park on Wednesday 25 June 08
The New Town Rivulet was entered where we ended the previous search (May 2007), near the start of the OHA track, and was searched upstream for approximately 500 metres. Unlike the last occasion, when a single stand of Erica was found, we located quite a number of isolated bushes plus several spots with 5 to 10 bushes. We were able to remove all the bushes that were found.
At the upper limit of the search for the day a very large Pine (appeared almost certainly to be Pinus radiata) was visible from the creek bed. Looking for Erica on the creek banks meant our heads were usually down, but during a break Mike noticed an Eagle fly closely above us and whilst endeavouring to spot it I was stunned to spy a monster pine growing close by. A closer inspection confirmed it to be a pine with needles and cones lying about.
Below are photos of the pine click on any image for a larger photo
Overall the creek is in good condition and is a very attractive place and so far we have fairly easy terrain on the banks to walk. After so very little rain over recent months the water flowing was most noticeably low and in one substantial section there was no water flowing. We arrived at a minute waterfall at the end of our time there and saw water flowing above it but below there was nothing; the water must somehow go under rocks and appear about 200 metres lower down the creek. See photo page
Checked through the site beside Tolosa FT that is the area for out Envirofund project and took “after” photos from set photopoints. Almost all Erica plants appeared to be dead. The lower site to be rehabilitated after the removal of pines still had the debris left from the logging.
Some isolated pines were checked and most looked unwell following the application of herbicide and a concentrated pocket of Erica near the creek that had also been sprayed looked to have been successfully treated.
Some Erica still existed near where we finished work in December 2007 needs clearing and a check further north revealed more bushes.
The area beside Knights Creek track where Erica was removed April 2006 was checked and apart only a few isolated bushes were found, expect near Humphries Rivulet where bushes were noted above the creek and on the bank.
Although it was clear enough at the car park during the climb to Goat Hills we gradually got into fog that thickened as height was gained.Nevertheless most of the time it remained reasonably dry, with just an occasional light drizzle effect.
Four areas were checked over (see map below for each section):
Section A near Montrose Fire Trail W7 which had primary control several years before and was found to have just a few pockets of either seedlings or spots previously overlooked.
Section B upper side of Goat Fire Trail W28 was checked for Broom seedlings and scoured for Erica. One location had a number of Erica reshooting from previous work and had to recut and painted with herbicide.The primary work was done in 2004 and 2005.
Section C also on upper side of Goat Fire Trail where the follow up on small patch of Erica revealed no reshooting and a small number of seedlings but only close to the edge of the fire trail. The primary work was in 2005.
Section D in the central region between Goat and Chapel Fire trails where seedlings had previously been noted as prolific following a burn off in 2003/4. The section was originally treated in 2003 prior to the burn and this was the third follow up at this spot (previously Dec 2006 and June 2007) and there was insufficient time to clear all with still others left untouched further down slope. In general about 90% were able to pulled out with only 10%