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No. 164, September-October 2016

Table of Contents

The President's Words

Enid Robertson – An Appreciation

Tom’s memorial seat

The Almanda Project

Warrapunga Open Garden  24th & 25th September

Useful new weapon for Erica arborea

Did you know?

Belair National Park Open Day

Walk in the Park 2nd October

Friends of Parks SA has a new Facebook page

Bird Banding

A Final Tribute To Enid

Programme October - November 2016

Office Bearers

Map of Working Bee Areas


The President’s Words:

When the Friends of Scott Creek CP formed 26 years ago, local botanist and field naturalist, Enid Robertson, provided guidance on plant identification and management of the native vegetation for this group of keen but inexperienced volunteers.

Enid pioneered and developed the minimal disturbance bush regeneration technique while working at the heritage listed Watiparinga National Trust Reserve in Eden Hills. This method is still used by our group today, as well as by many other volunteers and professionals working in native vegetation management around the country.

The keys to minimal disturbance bush regeneration include working from the best quality bushland towards weedier areas and creating minimal disturbance to the soil and native vegetation that you are trying to protect. It has proven to be the most time-efficient method of restoring and managing bushland.

In addition to being an excellent botanist, Enid had a very strong commitment to nature conservation and native vegetation management. She volunteered her time with many community groups over a long period of time and had a profound impact on their education in these matters.

Sadly, Enid succumbed to the effects of cancer and passed away in July. She remained the Patron of our Friends group and shared our commitment to restoring Scott Creek CP throughout her illness. See some more words about Enid’s impact on the early days of the FoSCCP from our secretary, Don Reid, on the next page.

Peter Watton

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Enid Robertson – An Appreciation:

When we got together for our first official meeting as the newly-formed Friends of Scott Creek Park, I think it was Dean Cordes who introduced us to Enid Robertson, as a person who could advise us on our future activities. We knew that there was a weed problem in the Park, but Enid soon demonstrated to us the extent of the problems awaiting us. At various working bees we began to appreciate her enormous depth of knowledge, which was freely given to anyone who asked intelligent questions. We also found that, when it came to weeds, humour was not something she indulged in. Weeding was serious business.

Our most intensive involvement with Enid was in the Monadenia campaign. Originally seen in our area along Mt. Bold Road in 1988, soon after our group was formed, she organized us into the shock troops of the campaign to eradicate or at least minimize the threat of this introduced Orchid. We became adept at wielding screwdrivers in digging up the bulbs of the plant and recognizing the different age groups by the number of leaves we could see. We soon pinpointed the major areas of infection and spent many an hour on our knees digging and bagging the monster. Disposal into the bottom of landfill was organized through the Adelaide Hills Council, when bags of bulbs and flowering heads would be delivered to the Council Office in Stirling for deep burial in their rubbish disposal facilities.

Of course, even with our best endeavours, we couldn’t eradicate the pest. It still occurs in the Park, but Enid appreciated that our efforts had relegated it to just another weedy item in the Park’s flora. It is a nuisance still and we continue to dig it up.

Enid will never be forgotten by the older members. She was friend, educator and gadfly to us and greatly influenced our evolution from a group of inexperienced amateurs to the experienced nature managers we have become. We miss her.

Don Reid


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Tom’s memorial seat:

When Tom passed away last year, his nephew Deon wanted to celebrate the impact he had on his life with a memorial seat to take in one of Tom’s much-loved views of Scott Creek CP.

On Sunday 18th September, Sue, Deon and their family gathered together at the newly installed seat on the side of Cup Gum Track, to partake in one of Tom’s other favourite pastimes, morning tea.

While the weather wasn’t particularly obliging, the cuppas were hot, the cake delicious and the company as good as it gets. The seat is beautifully crafted and had its water-proof finish well and truly tested.

When walking along Cup Gum Track next, make sure you take a few moments to sit down and enjoy the view, knowing Tom is there with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Almanda Project:

The 2016 Almanda Report, covering the second year of our project, has now been finished and delivered from the printer.

In this report there is a summary of work undertaken within each of the creek systems of Scott Creek CP during the 12 month period to 30th June 2016, with some extra information provided by John Wamsley on the methodology being used to record and manage the weeds issues.

Once again there is a report from our botanist, Ben McCallum, and results of the BushRAT monitoring he has completed this year. This includes monitoring in three creek systems - Almanda Creek South, Blackwater Creek and Fern Gully - and there is also a preliminary 10-15 year plan for the Mackereth Creek System.

Please contact me or any member of our committee if you would like to purchase a copy of the 2016 Almanda Report. Despite printing costs increasing by $5 per copy this year, we have decided to absorb this increase and keep the 2016 report at the same $45 price as the 2015 report. We also still have copies of the 2015 Almanda Report, for those who haven’t obtained a copy yet.

 

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Warrapunga Open Garden 24th & 25th September

Our hosts, John Wamsley and Proo Geddes, sent us the following report:

“Thanks to all those who helped over the weekend. It was a fantastic effort despite the rain. We raised over $1,000 in the kitchen [refreshments, sausage sizzle], another $1,000 in the hallway Proos’ art work], $2,500 selling Almanda Blues [plants], over $1,000 at the gate. In all $6,000 for the Almanda Project. Well done.”

Our own FOSCCP display enabled us to showcase the park and discuss the group’s activities with visitors. $175 was made from sales of 3 copies of the park history booklet, 5 bird brochures, 2 maps, 7 greeting cards and 2 of the newly published Almanda Project Reports for 2016.

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Useful new weapon for Erica arborea

FOSCCP developed the very effective technique for removing Erica by hitting on or underneath the lignotuber, causing the brittle major root below to break off. This has the added benefit of minimising herbicide use.

Now a new kind of tool is speeding up this process. Called a ‘small splitting axe’, it is about the size of a hatchet, but with a much heavier head (overall weight 1.5 kg). When hit with the flat side of its head, this extra weight helps to break off the Erica root below the lignotuber. In addition - if necessary - the pointed side on the heavy head is very effective in chopping through roots. The extra weight certainly speeds up the work. However, carrying or using the heavier tool may not suit everyone.

 

 

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Did you know?

September 1st was National Wattle Day. Wattles are frequently blamed for causing hay fever in early spring, but allergy tests (skin prick tests) seldom confirm that Wattle is the true culprit (source: Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, www.allergy.org.au).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Belair National Park Open Day

On Sunday 11th September, a number of organisations and Friends groups, including the Friends of Scott Creek CP, attended an Open Day to help celebrate Belair NP’s 125th Anniversary.

Represented by Peter, Sue, Don and Jenny, we had a display to help publicise Scott Creek CP and ran a craft activity to entertain the children. A variety of gum nuts, fruits from banksia, sheoak and native pine, leaves and some “googly” eyes, were glued together to create a myriad of weird and wonderful creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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This is Jenny Dawes’ report on the Walk in the Park on the 2nd October. It shows how our unusual weather has impacted on the Park.

13 people came on a pleasant walk yesterday in nice weather - including one of our 'junior' rangers, about half FOSCCP or family and a couple from Nicholls Road (north of the 'I' block) along with their two friends. We admired the Spring flora as we wandered along Currawong Ridge and down off it on to Neville Road where we watched a pair of (uncommon) Brush Bronzewings.

Along the Twisted Chimney Track things became a little soggy. Then we had to negotiate our way past two fallen trees and then past water all over a lower section of the track - and then around/over/through the ankle-deep, metre-wide torrent where Mackereth Creek crosses over it! A very different sight from its usual appearance.

The remaining part of the track is now undriveable. Not only is there even deeper erosion of that LH 'downhill' gully that runs down it -  but our parking/turn around area at the Twisted Chimney is unavailable due to fallen trees. But the good news is the chimney is still standing! There's now water right up to the tractor in that deep pond/well area below the house site and it's flowing all round the fruit trees down there.

A very different scene to our last walk there - it's now gumboot territory at least.

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If you are “in” to social media, here is a recent announcement from Friends of Parks Inc.

Notice

Friends of Parks SA has a new Facebook page

"Like" us on Facebook

As part of our "Social Media Strategy" the Marketing Sub-Committee, part of the Friends of Parks Inc Board, has established a Facebook site to enable FoP Members and the public to submit articles relevant to the site's purpose.

Please "Join" our Facebook site and engage with others on their views with your own comments about volunteering within our glorious Parks.

Please note that our Facebook site is moderated.

http://www.friendsofparkssa.org.au/_assets/images/AshImages/facebook-like.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfParksSA

We are also timing this launch with the upcoming "Parks Forum", Friday 14th - Sunday 16th October.

                                   

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Bird Banding:

It has been a while since our last report, which has included a hiatus in work due to the time taken to fulfill requirements for an Ethics Committee Certificate and a Permit to Take Wildlife. Thanks to Jen Pitman, these hurdles were finally overcome and we can now resume work.

The following table summarises our results since May.

4/5 June

Gate 4

9 species

19 captures inc. 3 recaptures

19 June

Gate 7

7 species

15 captures inc. 5 recaptures

2/3 July

Gate 9

8 species

21 captures inc. 10 recaptures

16 July

Thorley Rd

11 species

21 captures inc. 6 recapture

Notable records were 9+ and 6+ Whitebrowed Scrubwrens at Gate 4, 7+ and 6+ Brown Thornbills at Gate 7 and  two Bassian Thrushes banded at Gate 9 (a pair).

Our next outing will be on the 29th and 30th October, to Thorley Road again, where access is easy.

                                   

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A Final Tribute To Enid:

ODE TO ENID

The Monodenia sprang forth like the stars in the night
their flower‑spikes all gleaming a pale greeny‑white;
We stood on the hilltop and looked all around,

and wherever we looked, there were more to be found.

Then Enid spoke forth and her words were like fire:
"To eradicate every last weed, I aspire!"

and her followers were keen, though their numbers were few,
as over the hilltops and valleys they flew.

With screw‑driver in one hand and bag in the other,
they scoured the country, one after another;
and they dug and they pulled both by day and by night
until they had dug every weed within sight.

Then they took them to Enid and said "We are done ‑
and we've done really well ‑ well, we might have missed one."
Then Enid laughed long, and it filled them with fear,

as she said "See you same time, same hillside, next year!"

Donella Peters (our ‘resident’ bard)



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Programme October - November 2016

All working bees meet at 9.00am at Gate 16 Almanda Car Park

NOTE: WORKING BEES CANCELLED IF FORECAST TEMPERATURE
FOR ADELAIDE IS 36oC OR ABOVE OR IF FIRE BAN
ANNOUNCED FOR MOUNT LOFTY RANGES

Month

Date

Activity

Location

OCTOBER

   

Sunday

2

Spring Walk

Gate 3, 9.30am - 1pm. Enjoy a Spring walk in the park with our ranger Jen. Carry morning tea and stay on for a BYO lunch.

Tuesday

4

Working bee

Gate 9, Area 11, Brown Frog Gully, boneseed

Sunday

9

Working bee

Old Gate 10, Area 16 & 17, Upper Mackereth Ck, broom, bulb weeds

Friday to Sunday

14-16

2016 Friends of Parks Forum

Hosted by Friends of Glenthorne Farm, Hallett Cove CP, Lower Field River, Marino CP and O’Halloran Hill RP

Tuesday

18

Social Lunch
All welcome!

The ARTISAN - Blackwood 12pm (down lane beside Bendigo Bank)

Saturday

22

Working bee

Gate 20, Area 32, Panhandle, woody weeds including broom

Saturday, Sunday

29, 30

Bird banding

Gate 20 opposite Thorley Road, 7.00 am.

NOVEMBER

   

Tuesday

1

Working bee

Gate 2a, Area 21, Scott Creek, broom, boneseed & other mixed weeds

Tuesday

8

FoSCCP AGM
All welcome!

A brief AGM followed by a presentation by guest speaker Professor Andrew Lowe from Adelaide University titled “Restoring and conserving South Australia’s flora in the face of climate change”, Cherry Gardens CFS, 7.30pm start

Sunday

13

Working bee

Gate 16, Area 25, Almanda Valley, blackberry

Thursday

17

Social Lunch
All welcome!

The ESSENCE - Stirling 12pm (via lane between Gardiners Real Estate & children’s wear shop)

Saturday, Sunday

19, 20

Bird banding

Scott Creek, 7.00 am.

Saturday

26

Working bee

Gate 5, Area 3, North Viminaria Creek, woody weeds including Kunzea

DECEMBER

   

Tuesday

1

Working bee

tba

Sunday

12

Working bee

tba

Saturday

24

Working bee

tba

Meeting at the Almanda Mine for working bees enables everyone to be brought up-to-date with late changes to the programme. Bring a small back pack in case we are working further from the cars.

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Office bearers: Any queries on Friends activities, please contact your office bearers.

President: Peter Watton (H) 8270 4354 (M) 0427 010 949, 11 Banes Road, Coromandel Valley, 5051. Email: peterw@treesforlife.org.au 

Vice President & Working Bee Coordinator: John Butler (H) 8278 2773 (M) 0427 164 290,  5 Trevelyan Court,  Coromandel  Valley, 5051. Email: jhbutler36@gmail.com

Secretary & Bird Banding Coordinator: Don Reid (H) 8388 2123 (M) 0488 174 992, 224 Mt. Bold Road, Bradbury, 5153. Email: dre00249@bigpond.net.au

Treasurer: Donella Peters, (H) 8339 5639 (M) 0407 417  247, 10 Boomerang Cres, Aldgate, 5154. Email: dld@internode.on.net

Web page queries: rkwilliams@internode.on.net

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Working Bee Areas Map showing tracks, gates and creeks