Next time you’re walking along the Rail Trail near the Black Spur Creek Wetlands (BSCW), take a look at the small patch of young forest with a sign on the fence:
Friends of the Great Southern Rail Trail
High Value Conservation Reservation Site
Eucalyptus strzeleckii woodland
It’s a good example of revegetation and I know at least two members of Nerrena Landcare Group, Zoe and Richard Baillie, participated in the planting. Further work was postponed until there was some certainty about the highway re-alignment.
During April, Nerrena Landcare Group visited Brad and Kath Westaway to be inspired by their achievements improving and transforming their steep farm. They have successfully fenced out and revegetated their stream, gullies and water courses, protecting old isolated gums at the same time. It looks a picture.
Restoration of wetlands, weed control, and revegetation are priorities for the Blackspur Creek Wetlands Project and, with help from Jill Vella (currently South Gippsland Landcare Network Coordinator), we have been applying for more funding to assist. At least one adjoining landowner will be taking the opportunity to exclude their stock from riverbanks and wetlands by fencing and revegetation.
Our group has met twice with Vic Roads engineers, horticulturalist and landscape architect to discuss the very complicated highway realignment project. We have appreciated the opportunity to gain insights, share knowledge and have input into the planning and design process.
VicRoads (with Melbourne Museum) has been undertaking geological and biological surveys including mapping of E. Strzelecki. Because some significant trees will be removed, they are waiting for approval from the Federal Environment Department before putting the highway realignment out to tender. Implementation might commence in late 2018. We have asked that, as well as using local seed and plant material for propagation, they retain the wood and debris from any felled tree for habitat and to slow water run-off – plus it could help keep some of the carbon in the soil instead of the atmosphere!.
Also in May, Sue Miles, Coral and Kevin Hughes, and I represented Nerrena Landcare Group at the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority Green Carpet Awards, celebrating 30 years of landcare. The landcare group was presented with a photo of the Black Spur Creek Wetlands. We looked at the Heyfield wetlands, and learnt about the activities of other groups.