Category Archives: bushcare

An Early Finish

 

Glen Dhu
Tuesday 1 May 2018
Only one vehicle was available to transport gear and people to the start of the old Glen Dhu firetrail near Collins Cap, but plenty were willing to walk there which meant we had a crew of eight plus Joss from Parks & Wildlife Service. The weather was splendid and remained sunny and clam all the time we were there and was quite mild for the time of year.
Once we were all together, Adrian and Greg went with the hedge trimmers to clear part of the Collins Cap walking track below the firetrail.  The result was very good and impressive and even more got done that I was expecting. They also managed to find a known Erica at a nearby waterhole. While this was going on the rest of us headed down the Glen Dhu for the weeds.

At the junction about to leave for work  Adrian, Greg Joss, James, Mike, Lisa & Chris
The first weed site right underneath Collins Cap, which was originally cleared in 2002 was checked and no new gorse plants found.  This site was the first action for what became the Friends of Wellington Park and was assisted by Jean Taylor and John Hamilton. It has been clear of woody weeds since 2004 and can be considered as most successful.
A site some 800 metres further down which was also cleared in 2003 of Gorse and a few Erica was also found to be clear and again has been since 2004. This area and those below were badly burnt in the wildfire of February 2013. The previous check on the lower sites was in 2010 and only a few plants were found at two known sites. It is surmised that the fire gave rise to some of the plants located this time. One site had a substantial number of Erica up to 20 cm tall and took 7 of us 50 minutes to clear. The final spot had the most plants although they were more concentrated and generally much smaller in size. It has always been the most difficult location to clear and keep on top off, and it took us 55 minutes to clear.
Site before Erica cleared
Site with thick patch of small plants after most cleared
 
Lunch was called just as Adrian and Greg re-joined us which made a break in the 45 minute climb back to the vehicle. Four of the group, Lisa, Bronwyn, Chris and Peter, then made the downhill trip to the cars, whilst Mike, Adrian, Greg and James enjoyed the ride down the firetrail with Joss at the wheel.
It was an early finish and a delightful day to out in the bush.
 

 

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Unexpectedly Thick

Goat Hills
Tuesday 10 April 2018
Back in October 2017 we started checking a site in Goat Hills and found some mature Erica here and there. There was not enough time to check and clear the whole site and the Friends of Wellington Park returned on this very pleasant April day. All seemed to follow the previous script, but then there was a yell, “there is a lot here” and our plans were suddenly altered.

 

It meant our effort remained concentrated in the area and quite a lot of this invading weed was removed.  More is still there and will get attention in a few months’ time. our arbitrary boundary is as far as the power line easement and Beyond that is considered to Tasnetworks responsibly. Both the Friends of Wellington Park and Glenorchy Council will be seeking action from the power company.
 
Mike and Greg busy cutting down Erica

 

Ted far left and Joyce on right  Site A

 

Site A after Erica cut out
 

 

Natural Vegetation Growth

Devils Throne Track

Tuesday 6 February 2018
 
The hoped-for approval for a planned track reroute had not managed to get through the relevant local councils, so plan B was adopted.  A short section of pruning refinement and a section of rocks was made easier to cross on the new Devils Throne section of track, but most of our effort was put into clearing the exuberant growth of native vegetation further along the track. At some spots we had to stop and locate the path of the track hidden, particularly by Orites revolutus which seems to thrive up on the mountain.
View from proposed route to Collins Bonnet and Mount Connection

 

Short boulder crossing on reroute made easier to walk on.
 
 

 

At the previous event In January 150m had been cleared and on this occasion a further 400m was cleared. Some 640m remain to be done.
The track is often hidden by thick Orites

 

The track after clearing
 
 
 
 

 

Finer Than Expected

Thark Ridge

Tuesday 9 January 2018
Uncertainty about the weather made the decision to go ahead with the work difficult. If made according to the forecast then it would have been cancelled, especially given that the work was in an alpine environment. However, there have been several occasions where the day turned out nicer than expected, so a decision was left until the morning of the event. It was a bright sunny morning and any showers at least a couple of hours off. In fact, it was only just before getting back to the cars that a few light spots started.

The first half of the Thark Ridge track between Big Bend and the Thark saddle was given a trim and some known damp spots hardened with rock. The initial sections were cleared in 2012 and this was the first follow up.  The other task was to replace track markers that had been broken by someone for a reason only known to themselves, but to us it seemed plain destructive vandalism.

Large rock placed in a known wet spot on the track

 

John pruning the yellowbush

 

 

Reduced Scrub

Tom Thumb Track

Wednesday 27 December
2017
The track to Tom Thumb has been subject to a few comments about it being scrubby and there has been confusion as to where it starts for some people. 
On this opportune day we set off with Peter from PWS down the rough Big Bend Fire Trail in a tough 4WD to add a sign to mark the start and to remove some of the scrub which is doing its best to obliterate parts of the track.  The post was set in concrete at the side of the fire trail and the vegetation pressing on was cut back modestly.
Greg and Peter preparing to concrete the pole

 

Greg B and Greg K clearing the overgrrown track
 
The track is now obvious although it is still rough underfoot with some scrambling over boulders
still needed to get to the top. Some bauera heavily impacting the early part of the way remains and will be cut back at a later date.
On the drive out we stopped at the junction of the East West and Mount Hull fire trails to check on an old Erica location.  Unfortunately, we discovered quite several plants there. These had grown since our last visit in June 2013. Hopefully all were removed including those found growing within the cheeseberry bushes which are now vigorously colonising the site.
 
 
Overgrown start of track to Tom Thumb

 

Cleared start of track to Tom Thumb
 
 
 

 

Continual Improvement

Devils Throne

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Two known soakage sections of several metres were tackled with stone to both avoid a wet and muddy spot developing and to improve walker comfort.  A short section remains to be done. These were at the western end of the track and additional trimming of vegetation was carried out there as well.  Others did some rock work and trimming on the existing track beyond, where it heads   off to Devils Throne.
Section with water draining through

After hardening with rock

I have never seen a damaged area rehabilitate so quickly. It is a mere 6 months since the reroute was opened and the western end of the old route is starting to be quite inconspicuous.  Deep water channels are still evident and will take time to fill with soil, but the surrounding vegetation is spreading over them rapidly.  The eastern end was not looked at but is a more open moorland and will take longer to heal.
Old track now growing over

Going to and from the site we walked along the proposed new route between Thark Ridge and the new rerouted Devils Throne track. A mistake in navigation did not please everyone and a GPS had to used to get back on route, however on the return trip the correct path was adhered to and a few markers placed to help with the eventual track cutting.  
Lunch , Ben, Greg K, Chris, Adrian and Greg B

TRIMMING WILD GROWTH

Mount Connection

Tuesday 7 November 2017

 
There was 600 metres of quite dense vegetation reclaiming the Mount Connection Track. One of the dominant plants was Bauera, typically with masses of wiry branches that  make it slow work to clear. However, since we acquired hedge trimmers the difference in what can be achieved on a day is amazing. One of these trimmers, together with safety gear, was purchased from a Wildcare grant.
 
Nevertheless, using the trimmers is hot and tiring work and we shared the load; albeit somewhat unevenly. The rest of the crew concentrated on the  bigger bushes and trees, plus the tidying up.
 
The track now looks great and it is now most pleasant to walk along.  Some tuning  remains as well as a short untouched section.
Track before


Track after work

 

Adrian using a hedge trimmer

 

Greg trimming

 

 
 
 
 
A photo album is online or click image below
Ben on the track