Category Archives: Erica lusitanica

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
 

 

Goat Hills October 2017

Nice Weather, Nice Country

Tuesday 3 October 2017
After some
indifferent weather over recent times it was so pleasant in Goat Hills today;
in fact, it wasn’t long before warm tops were being shed.  A patch of Erica that we previously ran out of
time to clear, remained to be removed. Once completed we moved over to a dry north
facing slope that had not previously been inspected.  Old Erica at various locations was found and
cut down and treated with herbicide. More remains to done and the range to be
checked expanded.  
Whist there
Adrian found signs of an old building with daffodils and a clump of Agapanthus. 

 

During
morning break, Rob Whittle from Glenorchy council told us about bushfire mitigation
plans and fire management for the various plant communities in the region. The
pack of chocolate coated biscuits that he brought along was also appreciated, and
we kept him talking until the packet was finished.
 

Site prior to work


Site after removing weeds 



   


Old building site


 

 

Fortune Returns

New Town

Tuesday 4 July 2017
 
At one stage we had a run of good fortune with bad weather only arriving after our work had finished and we back at the cars.  Today this luck returned and rain only started an hour afterwards.  The morning had been sunny followed later by a bit of cloud making for quitter pleasant conditions for working.
 
Rob, Peter and Greg on Erica patch  Photo from Michelle
 
 
As sometimes happens, what was thought to be a short job turned out to be much bigger.  The
cause was discovering a patch of Spanish heath, in fact a nursery of the nasty stuff.  It took a while but eventually the whole of the site was cleared. It was also noticed that some bushes seemed to have been browsed prior to the current year growth.
The area was previously cleared in July 2015.
 
 
 

No rush to restart work

Tuesday 6 June 2017

A few days prior the weather forecast looked a bit foreboding, but as the day drew closer things started to modify. It turned out to be fine, often sunny and generally quite pleasant.

The site has been worked over for some years and it was just small Spanish Heath plants to hand pull. Most tended to be confined to a number of spots rather than spread widely.

Right on the morning break, Harry from Glenorchy City arrived with a surprise of tasty pastries and muffins: Greatly appreciated and we found it easy to delay returning to work while there was still some remaining.

By the knockoff time we had swept through the whole site and removed all the weeds found. Although the threatened Epacris virgate was mostly looking to be battling it was good to find a healthy patch of yellow riceflower, Pimelea flava  subsp. flava; a reasonably rare plant for the area.  There is a record of a sighting here made in 2006.

 
 
 yellow riceflower, Pimelea flava  subsp.
flava

 

Morning break
 

Damp Bush – Goat Hills

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Goat Hills
Although the work was cancelled because of the weather
prevailing on the morning, some activities went ahead in lieu.  Harry from Glenorchy City wanted to survey a
site in Goat Hills to assess how much work would be involved in clearing the
Erica remaining.
 
When I arrived, there was a new volunteer, Chris, was
waiting.  It transpired that the Wildcare
booking system had stopped sending advisory emails to the group and so I was
unaware that he would be there.  Wildcare
has been told about the problem and hopefully the system has now been rectified.
 
From the time, we started up the fire trail the weather
turned fine and there were sunny periods. It is always a quandary with the
weather, but a decision on cancelling had to be made by 7:30 am, but the bush remained
quite wet which is not ideal conditions for working in.
 

 

Back to the survey, the area has patches of Erica of differing
concentrations and covers some 1.3 hectares.  With luck a contractor can be organised to do
the work over the next few months.
 

Some Extra Help – Main Fire Trail Old Farm Area

Tuesday 4 April 2017

For this working bee we had staff from a section of UTAS as part of a Health & Wellbeing program and they were an enthusiastic, hard working group and their efforts most appreciated.

UTAS staff ona volunteer a day program with WPBG members



A large patch of Erica just below the Main Fire trail not far from Old Farm Road was tackled and a considerable area was cleared.  The Erica, known as Spanish Heath, was in the majority of cases large and several years old.  It was growing alongside Bracken and a variety of native plants.



The land worked on is within Wellington Park and we hope that through our action we can encourage TasNetworks to give a higher priority to the part that is outside the park.





A photo album is online, which includes some taken by Michelle from Hobart Bushcare




Photos above are of site A before and after
Photos above are of site B before and after
Photos above are at site D before and after