March Working Bee – 9 am, Sunday 28th of March, Heron St area
Our March working bee will be held around the Heron St levee bank. The focus will be on woody weed removal and we are particularly keen to tackle the Hawthorn that is growing on the steep banks. There will be plenty of work for every-one of all ages – especially enthusiastic volunteers who like to see an impact in a matter of hours.
The best place to park is along Campaspe Drive to the east of Heron St. Due to COVID restrictions we require participants to bring their own secateurs, sturdy gardening gloves and protective eye wear. Disposable waterproof gloves will be provided but need to be taken home for personal disposal. As with every Landcare working bee, dress appropriately in old, full length clothing and sturdy footwear. Gumboots may be useful at this working bee so bring some along if you have a pair.
The Landcare tool trailer will be onsite for more specialist equipment but be mindful we are trying to limit sharing of tools. If further restrictions require a cap on numbers any changes will be notified beforehand. For this reason and to help with catering our tasty morning teas, it is important to register your attendance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend. The working bee will be cancelled if a total fire ban is declared in the Central district.
While you are in the Heron Street area, take moment to check out the nearby 2016 Trees for Mum planting site – how has it changed from these photos taken over the past 5 years since it was first cleared?
A brief history of “the paddocks”
We had an excellent turn-out to our February working bee at the site affectionately known as “The Paddocks”. This refers to the area on the south side of Five Mile Creek between Bowen St. and Pyke St – not far along from the Children’s Park.
The Paddocks were once covered with a dense poplar thicket and an old landfill, probably dating back to the 19th century, was discovered north of the levee bank near Pyke St. In 2007, Woodend Landcare received a grant to clear the site of poplars and revegetate it with native species. The chipped poplars made quite a mess. To enable planting and future mowing, the entire area had to be ‘power raked’.
2,690 locally native trees, shrubs and grasses were planted in spring 2007 along the creek. Because of drought conditions at the time, these plantings were regularly watered over the following summer. A second planting of 350 plants was undertaken in early April 2008 by a Green Corps team – these are the larger ‘patches’ of trees you can now see along the path.
In autumn 2011, Woodend Landcare planted 21 non-native trees in The Paddocks to provide a visual contrast with the native plantings and also as future shade trees. This was part-funded by Council with many of the trees privately donated or bought by Landcare. The trees have been regularly tended and watered by Landcare volunteers.
Finally, in 2017, 120 grasses were added to the revegetation sites to create more habitat diversity.
Countless volunteer hours have gone into planting and maintaining The Paddocks over the years. Woodend Landcare would like to thank everyone who has played a valuable part in restoring the site. Today, it’s a lovely part of the Five Mile Creek Reserve which will only get better as the trees mature.
Our second working bee in February was held around the Romsey Rd area of the Five Mile Creek Reserve. Peter Yates reports: “Good job today. Twelve attendees. Removed and bagged three huge bags of thistles from on of the small dams and cut and painted lots of gorse and blackberry around the other. Also cleared an area east of the Curry Bridge of willow, blackberry and gorse.” It was also a chance to check out our new signs for the Landcare trailer. Thanks to Peter for organising these.
More Landcare news to note:
- North Central Catchment Management Authority have released their draft Regional Catchment Strategy. The website is now live at Home | North Central Regional Catchment Strategy (rcs.vic.gov.au) and will be open for consultation until the 20 April. You can submit your comments directly via the online form on the website.
- Macedon Ranges Shire Council have a useful new local Bird Guide – you can pick up a copy in the Woodend Library or online here: https://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/Live-Work/Environment/Native-Pest-Animals/Birds
- Wombat Forestcare’s March Newsletter is now available and always a excellent read: http://www.wombatforestcare.org.au/newsletters/WombatForestcareNewsletter55_March_21.pdf
- Macedon Ranges Shire have a Equiculture Course for horse owners (click here) and a Nature Stewards program for community members (click here) on offer. If you are interested, act quick as they are likely to book out.