Category Archives: track maintenance

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
 
 
 

 

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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
 

 

ALMOST FINISHED

Devils Throne Reroute

Tuesday 20 June 2017
We had the day reserved for another task, but it got done the previous week, which left a free day to do a bit of refinement to the Devils Throne reroute. On the way both there and back we walked on the proposed route from Thark Ridge to the reroute start that avoids the unpleasant boulder field on the existing track.  The three of us concurred that is what a much better option. It took about 30 minutes, but if it was made into a track the time would be not be dissimilar to the existing track. More information on the proposed route is online.
 

Some additional trimming of low scrub was done and a considerable amount of rock work, both manoeuvring rocks to make passage easier and adding some to the softer bits of the new track. One short scree remains to be done and a short wet area where water drains off the moorland. 

A web site holds details on the Devils Throne site and the work that has gone on
there.
 
Close view of the rock work performed by Greg
 

IMPROVING THE WALKING EXPERIENCE

Devils Throne Reroute

Friday 2 June 2017
 
There had been enough days of milder weather to melt the snow from earlier in the week and it was decent enough day, with some sun. This was the fourth day at creating a new track to avoid the wet plain on the way to Devils Throne in Wellington Park. All the final 200 metres, left to be cleared at this event, was over solid rocky ground and included large flat rock making for easy
passage for walkers.
We were able to complete the task and also move a considerable number of nearby rocks into gaps.  The rocks make it both easier for walking and help define the route.
 
 
Greg and Adrian at the junction, the new track leads off behind them

 

Bruce and Nick lunching, Greg in foreground.
 
Over
the four days we have created a new route of 800 metres; which is quite a feat. The old wet and degraded crossing was 520 metres, but as the new route is more direct, some 175 metres of track became redundant. When this added in, the old track totalled roughly 700 metres making it not that dissimilar in distance to the new way; but of course, it is now ever so much more pleasant for walking.
 
 
New track through a thick section of vegetation
Route before  work

 

Same site as above after clearing
 
On the way  to and from the site it was most noticeable that the old track from Thark Ridge down was like a creek with water running rapidly.
Over the last 5 years the Wellington Park Bushcare Group has created   over 2 kilometres of completely new tracks in the park, replacing braided and degraded tracks.  This figure does not include existing tracks that have been cleared of overgrowing vegetation.
 

Almost Half Way Devils Throne Reroute

 

Wednesday 12 April 2017
 
 
On the day prior to the scheduled work we learnt that Pinnacle Road may be closed until 10 AM,
because of helicopter shuttling track materials.  By late afternoon notice was received that
the road would in fact be open, so the work was able to go ahead.


Peter clearing vegetation

 

 

The previous day’s rain was still sitting on the bushes as low cloud cover didn’t permit
dispersal. Sun did eventually arrive and it became a very pleasant day.  Initially the best route had to be selected before the clearing work could commence.  Progress was good especially considering that
quite a bit of the work involved cutting dense low vegetation and 165 metres of new track was done. This brings our overall length cut to 310 metres leaving 450 metres to go. 
The group

 

More Than Expected

Mount Connection

 Tuesday 7 February 2017

 It was known that almost 600 metres of track lay between the high point on the mount Connection track and where we finished work in January. What wasn’t known was how overgrown it was, and any hope of getting through it quickly was soon dispelled.
Our morning and lunch break lookout, here with Greg and Ted
Without the hedge trimmers, it would not have been possible to compete the work, which has boosted our conviction that they are a great aid to track work.

PWS drove us along the East West Fire Trail to the start of the walking track which meant going past 500 metres of thick and at times tall bushes overgrowing the track.  This is down on our agenda for the near future.
Site A before clearing, obviously quite thick

Ted finishing of a spot on the now cleared track  Site A
Section of track cleared on the day