for your diary-
work together selectively and gently removing weeds from the
forest - plants which should not be there and which (if left
unchecked) crowd out native flora. We usually have 5 - 15 members
at our half-day weeding "parties" and non-members are
encouraged to join us as well ! Everyone is welcome.
will not be any work parties held on days of severe
weather warning or total fire ban days for the Central
For Project days please bring water, gloves
and protective clothing, also something to eat and drink at tea
and filling gear,
mattocks, hand saws, pliers (to pull roots), secateurs and
herbicide dabbers. We usually have spare tools with us for
people who don't have their own.
Change of plan for Wednesday Weeders
to the difficulty in finding suitable sites three to four months
ahead of time, the Wednesday Weeders are going to try a new
format. Actually, we are copying the Tuesday Mob’s scheduling,
except we will work only on the second Wednesday of the month.
Instead of work sites being posted in Forest Focus, we will decide where to work on a monthly basis. The
work will consist mainly of follow-up hand weeding, usually at
sites too small for a large group.
you wish to be included in "The
Wandering Wednesday Weeders ", regularly or
occasionally, please either send your email address to email@example.com
or phone Vivien on 9754 3093. She will then let you know in
advance where the work site will be scheduled.
these Wednesdays in your diary, 9:30-12:30 :
Tuesday Mob do heavier weeding, usually removing woody weeds with
mattocks and saws, or drilling and filling weed trees with
herbicide. We work from 09:00 every Tuesday morning for three to
four hours and always have a tasty tea break. The venues for the
Tuesday sessions vary from week to week.
To obtain details, please feel free to email Don at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bill at email@example.com
23 February - Committee Meeting - 11.30 am. See previous minutes for venue.
23 February - Project Afternoon - 1.30 pm. Yanakie Site - Meet at junction of Welch Track and Coles Ridge
Track via Old Monbulk Road (Melway map 75 H 9). Poisoning or
removing woody weeds, and handweeding English Ivy, etc.
23 March - Project Afternoon - 1.30 pm. Sherbrooke Lodge Road Site
- Meet at the far end of Sherbrooke Lodge Road (Melway map 75 H
3). Poisoning or removing Sycamore Maples, and handweeding.
27 April - Committee Meeting - 11.30 am. See previous minutes for venue.
27 April - Project Afternoon - 1.30 pm. Moore Break Site - Meet at the Jacka Street entrance (Melway
map 75 D 4) Woody weeds and handweeding.
25 May - Project Afternoon - 1.30 pm. Foden Track Site - Meet at small carpark near Foden Track
entrance (Melway map 124 6/7 C). Sycamore Maples and Tutsan.
report 2012 – Friends of Sherbrooke Forest, Inc.
This year has been a busy
year for me, being very involved in family matters. I wish to
thank everyone for their understanding and especially the
Committee for keeping things rolling along smoothly.
For several reasons our work
party hours have been down on past years. Ill health, family
commitments, well earned holidays and the wettest winter for some
years have all played a part in the reduced input. Another factor
is aging, and selecting suitable sites to suit our mobility is
getting harder. As we are at the follow up stage in many areas it
is noticeable just how much work has been done in the past. There
are still plenty of challenges for our group, and bringing new
folk into the fold is a slow process. When one considers the
number of visitors per day and the number of vehicles which drive
along and through beautiful vistas, we really should be able to
attract more helpers. Do we sell ourselves enough? Is there
someone out there who, rather than weed, would like to act as a
publicity officer? How long since we have had a picture in the
local paper? Kathryn has offered to create a facebook page for the
Friends, which will contribute to our publicity needs. Thanks
Kathryn and also Don and Liz, who continue to maintain and update
our website. Thanks to Priscilla who continues to produce an
informative and high quality newsletter. She has also developed an
information sheet, combined with an application form in an effort
to increase membership.
Special thanks to all the
Committee members for their continued interest and making our
meetings quite stimulating at times. Vivien continues to make our
meetings run efficiently. Bill and Vivien’s liaison with Trevor
McIntosh has ensured excellent communication with Parks Victoria
at the local level. Bill Incoll diligently works at several levels
to convince the “powers that be” to fund trials for the
biological control of Wandering Trad. We wish Bill every success
as this weed is spreading at an alarming rate. Thanks to Alex
Maisey, who represented the friends on the UDYEC bus tour for MPs,
Councillors and Government Agencies. This was to seek longer term
funding for the whole of the Dandenongs, “piggybacking” on the
success of the Urban Fringe Weed Management Initiative.
The Dawn Lyrebird Survey was
again supported by our members. Congratulations to Alex Maisey,
who successfully managed the surveys for the first time. Deer
continue to be a problem and now appear to be far more wide-spread
than when we first raised this issue at least four years ago. Our
committee has been extremely patient, but will again raise with
Park staff their lack of action to address this problem.
Thanks to Bill and Kathryn,
for the continued use of their home for meetings. Your hospitality
is greatly appreciated.
We have written to our
Premier, Mr. Baillieu, regarding the situation at Grant’s.
Vivien compiled a well researched letter, detailing the success of
our group, and of our concerns regarding Grant's.
Disappointingly, our letter was not answered from his
office, but passed on to the Regional Manager of Parks Vic. to
provide a reply. Basically we were told that nothing could be done
as the lease had another eight years to run. Commercialisation in
National Parks is a very big issue. Here we have a glaring example
of why “private investment” should never occur in our Parks.
I trust you all have an
enjoyable and safe Christmas. Best wishes and good health for the
John Lloyd, President
Lyrebird Lady’s report,
wasn’t the Sherbrooke Lyrebird Study Group's
best year due to absences (overseas and interstate),
injuries and study commitments.
saddest loss this year was that of the full tail male MrG who
disappeared around July 17th, 2012.
This male has given numerous people hours of pleasure
with his display, dancing and singing.
SLSG hope it was age (26+years) and not a FOX that
terminated his days at Paddy Corner.
He was also the “star” for many local and overseas
is to be congratulated on successfully organizing four very well
attended Dawn Surveys; these results should be available soon.
A special thanks to all those FOSF members who attended.
breeding season 12 chicks and 1 female were successfully banded.
Several of these chicks have been sighted, also several
unbanded chicks from nests which weren’t found.
missed banding our old favourite Dg/Dg/Dg’s chick by a couple
of hours. Norm found
this big chick in the nest the previous afternoon but by the
time the banding team arrived early the next morning it had
fledged. This female
Dg/Dg/Dg (LL) was banded in 2000 and has had a varied degree of
success with her chicks. She
usually nests below Hillclimb Track but had relocated up to
above Ridge Track.
chick we missed banding was the Melbourne High School female
W/W/W. I found W/W/W
with an unbanded chick feeding near the log landing.
This female W/W/W had not been sighted since December 8th,
2009 – she now has a very bad attack of mites on her legs.
The female W/W/Bu photographed on December 5th
by John (a friend of the group) had not been seen since
September 15th, 2009.
Recently (on Jan 26th), I saw this female with
an undernourished unbanded chick near the dam above Neumann
would appear that the lyrebirds are having a hard time finding
sufficient food in these present dry conditions.
we discovered no nests along either Hardy Creek (six in 2002 and
2004) or Monbulk Creek (three in 2003, 2008, 2010).
These were formerly favourite sites for nest building,
and SLSG believe this is due to disturbance by deer and the
damage they do to the creek banks.
after the next big rain we will see lots of lyrebirds enjoying
the damp conditions.
Morning — Woodfull Track Site — September
This was the first Wandering
Wednesday Weeders gathering. Ten Friends (of both genders) met at
the old Pound Creek Picnic Ground area off Terrys Avenue. We
walked along Woodfull Track looking for Forget-me-nots, thistles
and ragwort. As we came closer to the Melbourne High site we found
a plentiful supply along the track and large areas of
Forget-me-nots on the high side of the track - in amongst the
stinging nettles! We gathered the weeds (mostly Forget-me-nots)
into heaps along the Track to rot down. We welcomed Geoff Edwards,
former councillor with the Shire of Sherbrooke and early supporter
of the Friends.
Afternoon — Regnans Road Site — September
On a sunny warm day ten
Friends returned to the Regnans Road site. We drilled and filled
woody weeds (mostly Sycamore Maple and a little Holly), uprooted
Agapanthus and Red Hot Poker and pulled English Ivy growing around
Mother Shield-ferns. That we had to work on the far edges of this
site shows the improvements made by the Friends and Parks Victoria
contractors. A beautiful large Blackwood stands out ; its upper
trunk and branches have traces of dead ivy vines, and its lower
trunk is now visible where the "fruit salad" of
weeds has gone. There is more ground ivy to remove from
this site, plus patches of Angled Onion, invasive grasses and Alstroemeria or Peruvian Lily.
Morning — Woodfull Track Site — October
Wandering Wednesday Weeders returned to Woodfull Track for more
Forget-me-nots. With regular rainfall and cool weather, the piles
we had left along the Track last month had not rotted away; we
turned them over to bury the blue and pink flower heads. We mainly
worked in the Melbourne High site where we cleared a large
circular area of Forget-me-nots, Californian Thistle (Cirsium
arvense), a few Ragwort plants and some Buttercup. Vivien
recorded before and after photographs (below). Whipbird calls
ricocheted around us and we heard Rosellas, Magpies and the Grey
Shrike-thrush. On the way out the fellas climbed up the high side
of the Track to deal with a large Pittosporum
undulatum. As we shed boots and raincoats in the car park, a
wildlife carer and her daughter pulled in to release a young
echidna which had strayed into suburban Tecoma.
Forget-me-nots at Woodfull Track) …
Afternoon — Yanakie Site — October
Fortunately, the rain had
cleared for us, and six members plus one visitor (Geoff Edwards
from Queensland) spent a busy afternoon poisoning woody weeds, as
well as handweeding Spear Thistle and small Sycamore Maples. The
regenerating indigenous species have formed a thick carpet (see
photograph), and there are many tree-fern seedlings underneath the
Margaret and Jan found a new
weed species, later identified as Ruscus
Broom). It has tiny flowers underneath the 'leaves', followed by
you to Vivien for this report and for her photo above
healthy regeneration at Yanakie -
Morning — Nation Road Firebreak Site — November
Three regular Wednesday
Weeders were joined by local resident, Lesley Wilson, manager of
the Birdsland Indigenous Plant Nursery, and by biology student,
Rachel and her friend, David. Trevor McIntosh also joined in and
whisked our weed bags away to Parks Victoria at the end of the
We concentrated on pulling
Cat's Ear but also bagged Angled Onion, Centaury and Buttercup. We
had to overlook the weed grasses which were everywhere. We found a
large variety of native regrowth including Hop Goodenia, Olearia
argophylla, Trigger Plant, Hairy Speedwell, Juncus
pauciflora and several types of orchids. Lesley pointed out a
bright orange and black butterfly with eye spots which Vivien
confirmed was a Sword-grass Brown
The larvae of this species feed on Red-fruit Saw-sedge (Gahnia
The cool sunny morning was
perfect weeding weather and we enjoyed the calls of a range of
birds, visible (white and black cockatoos) and invisible.
Afternoon — Sherbrooke Lodge Road Site — November
A big goup of 13 turned out
for the last Saturday work party of the year following the AGM.
Parks Victoria will be slashing a fire break four metres in from
the road, so we ignored scattered weeds in that strip. We walked
further in to hand weed Sycamore Maple (continually reseeded by
huge trees on properties nearby), Indian Strawberry Plant, Tradescantia,
and thistles. Sharon and Priscilla had to check The Book to
distinguish immature Clematis
aristata from Aluminium Plant (Lamium galeobdolon). Both have white
markings on the top of the leaf, but the Clematis is purple
underneath, where Aluminium Plant is green and has a distinctive
scalloped edge. Jan commented that Aluminium Plant was a common
pot plant not so long ago.
The day was hot and leeches
slowed us down. Afternoon tea on the road verge was a breezy
relief, with home made banana muffins and mince tarts and the
first cherries of the season. After tea Jan spotted the missing
clump of Aluminium Plant; we reduced by a third, but there is more
to remove. We heard a loud
crack and watched part of a limb from a dead gum drop where
Friends had been working earlier. No wind, just ready to go.
"Look up and live", say the foresters.
(Lamium galeobdolon) Like tradescantia,
aluminium plant rapidly covers large areas of ground with a thick
mat that stops seedlings of other plants from establishing. It is
shade tolerant, so can be a problem deep into bush areas, as well
as on the margins. Stems take root wherever they touch the ground,
and it is also spread from stem fragments dumped with garden
Afternoon – Yanakie Site – January 2013
Ten Friends gathered at
Yanakie for an Australia Day weeding party. Perfect weather, cool
and cloudy, was an unexpected bonus. Vivien went after the
Chocolate Vine (Akebia quinata) near the old homesite; she found its many stems were
too intertwined to cut and poison, and asked Bill to have it
"nuked !". She
then cut and poisoned ivy stems on a large Messmate-Stringybark.
Six Friends spread out to remove or poison
woody weeds, while a trio bagged Spear Thistle flowers. We
all noted how dry and dusty the plants were.
Vine (Akebia quinata)
vine grows very rapidly, producing so many stems that it forms a
thick, tangled mat that covers other plants. It will form a thick
groundcover if it doesn’t have anything to grow up, smothering
seedlings and stopping other plants establishing. It spreads by
stem fragments, and birds also spread the seed.
2012 rainfall in Belgrave was 1256mm, down from 1486mm in 2011.
the Quality of Creeks in Sherbrooke Forest by Identifying
Macroinvertebates, from Vivien Freshwater
For the last eight years, a small team of
FOSF members has been carrying out Waterwatch activities in Hardy
and Monbulk Creeks.
Hardy Creek has its source just below
Grant’s Picnic Ground and joins Monbulk Creek on the Selby side
of the forest. It has three tributaries which feed into it along
the way. The area chosen for the Waterwatch site is north-east of
Paddy Track near Jack-the-Miners.
The method used to sample macroinvertebrates
consists of collecting a sample using a fine net which is placed
on the bed of the creek and slowly moved upstream for a distance
of ten metres, while disturbing the small stones along the way.
Many species cling to the undersides of rocks and need to be
disturbed to help them find the net. The sample is then placed
into a bucket of previously collected water and taken out to a
suitable area to be identified.
The sample is divided into two white trays
and the debris allowed to settle. The macro-invertebrates can
usually been seen with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass is
necessary to identify the different species. These must not only
be identified but counted as well. The bugs are placed in ice
block trays, except for yabbies. These are too large and are
likely to crawl away if removed from the tray.
The bugs are assessed using a Signal Score,
(Stream Invertebrate Grade Number) i.e. sensitive bugs have a
higher signal score that tolerant bugs. In 2012 the staff at
Melbourne Water produced a new system of identifying
macroinvertebrates which has proved very successful.
Probably the most interesting of all the
water bugs is the Caddis family. They come in all shapes and
sizes, some free-living and others in a fascinating array of
homes. Some of their common names are ‘ginger nuts’,
‘vulture’ caddis, ‘igloo’ caddis and ‘attack’ caddis.
The ‘attack’ caddis builds an exquisite cone shaped case of
sand and tiny pebbles. As the name suggests, they hide in their
camouflaged case and grab their unsuspecting prey as they pass.
Stonefly larvae have amusing common names such as ‘hairy
sprawler, ‘blond sprawler’ and ‘fluffy bums’. Damselfly
larvae must be the most beautiful of all, with their delicate
feather-like gills on the end of their tails. Water Pennies (a
beetle larva) look like miniature Trilobites when viewed under a
Stonefly larvae and Mayfly larvae are
commonly found at the Hardy Creek site and have a higher Signal
Score than fly larvae, snails and worms. The Monbulk Creek site is
subject to run-off from Nation Road and can be inconsistent when
it comes to sampling. Invariably, Hardy Creek has a much higher
Signal Score than the Monbulk Creek site, which just below the
During the last drought, the number of
Amphipods dropped dramatically from a couple of hundred per sample
to about ten in 2010. Numbers are still building up and it is
surmised that the low level of water in the creek was responsible
for their demise. With low rainfall in December 2012 and January
2013, they may not fully recover this year. Another example of
Once the bugs have been identified they are
taken back to the area they where they were collected and
released. All the results are forwarded to Melbourne Water via the
Richter has provided these photographs of adult forms of two
sensitive Waterwatch species. His beautiful wildlife photography
is available at http://rnr.id.au/
An adult dragonfly
tonyana (male) (Sherbrooke)
Photographer: Reiner Richter
|An adult stonefly
Eusthenia sp. (Sherbrooke)
|Wineberry (Aristotelia serrata)
|Wineberry in bud
photo by Jane Hollands
photo by Jane Hollands
Jane Hollands is
a local resident who has been clearing weeds along Perrins Creek
in Olinda /Kallista. This is her description of yet another new
and emerging weed in the Dandenongs.
| An emerging weed has been identified along Perrins Creek,
mainly in private property adjoining the creek, but also
along the creek. I believe it is Makomako, or wineberry (Aristotelia
serrata). This is a New Zealand plant. It is fast growing, easy to
pull up (when small) and for me is on a similar level to Sycamore
[Maple] invasion. The leaf has
a distinctive serrated edge. It looks as if it should be
deciduous, but it is not!
(I originally thought the weed was an hoheria, which has a similar
leaf and has also escaped from gardens. There are areas where
hoheria is present as well.)
I have contacted the Yarra Ranges Council and they have alerted
their contractors. They have poisoned a large tree that was
growing on the roadside near 2 Perrins Creek Road.
Here is a reference for the plant which shows the dark red coloured
flower and berry: