Category Archives: Erica lusitanica

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.
 
 
 
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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

 

Intruding on a Reptile – Goat Hills

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Whilst working on a patch I noticed the end of a tail poking out from under some litter and realised it was a Bluetongue lizard.  It remained motionless for about 15 minutes or so while I worked nearby and eventually decided it was safe to emerge after I got a bit further away.

Bluetongue is hard to see  arrows mark it






















Thought it was safe to come out of hiding



I tried a pair of insect repelling overalls that were a gift, but it is hard to know how effective they were. There were a few mosquitoes about but I don’t think anyone got bitten and neither did I, so the test was somewhat inconclusive.



As for the work, we discovered that the patch of Erica leftover from the last visit was more extensive than thought. We did make a good fist of it but as we did not have as many helping as sometimes, some had to be left to finish another time; probably next May. 


Ted busy working on the Erica at Goat Hills.
 

 

Would the Work Runout

Tuesday 1 November 2016

After visiting the site off Kalang Avenue  some months ago I was expecting a patch of live Erica, but it looks like that a spray team has been in since and it mostly dead. The few outbreaks well inside the bushline were still there but didn’t take long to clear, although there was a considerable number of very small blackberry starting the generate in the outskirts where a management burn had taken place. Not all the blackberry was removed and spraying may be required in the near future.

View down the open area with some native grasses starting to move in now that the Erica has gone
It was a little concerning that we might run out of work too early in the day, but sufficient was found including few small plants in locations previously worked, but these latter areas closest to the park boundary were generally in good shape.  There were several comments about how the central part of the land was now so much improved since the council commenced clearing the massive Erica invasion; a very pleasing outcome indeed.
A group of four handicapped workers and two supervisors walked in during the morning to provide help to us, but also for them to find out what it is like working in the bush environment.
Our weather was mostly pleasant and the couple of showers that did come through didn’t last for long. Morning break and lunch were in sunshine and gentle warmth in this sheltered valley.

Morning coffee

Photos of the open area in 2014 and 2016
Regrowing wattles March 2014 and November 2016

Poorer for the work – Goat Hills Erica

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Well some of our group were certainly somewhat poorer after putting in a good day of work. Between morning break and lunch our packs were tampered with and goods stolen.  One pack top zip was open and wallet half hanging out and on investigation found money and iPhone gone.  Most of the packs were close to a fire trail and two young people on bikes were seen going past and one of our workers did actually wonder if our packs were safe. Anyway it is a lesson learnt and from now on packs will be kept well away from passing eyes.

Greg at work on Erica

As to the work, patches of mostly mature Erica were located at several locations and all but one group were removed. Some spots had old stumps from our work there more than 10 years ago, whilst other areas had never been tackled before.  Despite the long time lapse without follow up things weren’t too bad at all and the native bush was doing OK and the birds sounded good.

Site with Erica before clearing

Same site with Erica now cleared