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



A well-earned break – Inglewood

Tuesday 7 March 2017

In what was ideal; weather a large patch of tall Gorse was tackled at the edge of Inglewood Fire Trail and the result was a very pleasing area cleared of the menace. Some seedlings were noticed from our last venture to this location in 2015.

Morning break was  cool enough to be pleasant in the sun and made more enjoyable courtesy of the Hobart Bushcare pastries and cake brought along by Michelle from the Summer Kitchen bakery of Ranelagh.

Top is site with large Gorse bushes and below after it was cleared
Morning break in the sun.

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


Trimming Power – Mount Connection Track

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Having hedge trimmers made a huge difference to what could be achieved in clearing the track to Mount Connection in Wellington Park. Our group purchased one last year, after seeing how effective the Parks & Wildlife Service’s one was, and had already tested it out on this very track. On this trip, Peter and Josh from PWS shared operating one whilst Greg K and Adrian used ours.

Cutting back the overgrowing vegetation
Vegetation now clear of boardwalk, cut with hedge trimmer
Meanwhile the remainder of the party concentrated on the taller bushes and small trees that needed pruning with the result of tremendous 1.25k of track being rejuvenated.
One of the advantages of working with PWS is vehicle access, and on this occasion, it was along the rough and at times steep Big Bend Fire Trail allowing at least some of our party to get a lift close to the work site. Even so, with such a great turnout of volunteers not all could be accommodated and had to walk.
Craspedia alpina
Work finished some 600 metres shy of the crest of Mount Connection and about 1.8k from the end at the   East West Fire Trail. It will now be more productive to start from that point when the work is recommenced in February.



Morning break at Mount Connection track



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

Details of working bees