About 40 Landcarers spanning 13 member groups met up on Sunday to swap experiences of their Landcare activities.
We strolled atop the hill at Glebe Hill Reserve, heard the history of the restoration efforts at the Barilla Rivulet, and then waded right in to catch some waterbugs.
And of course the sausages and veggie burgers went down a treat. Thanks to the South Hobart Butchers for offering Landcare Tas a good deal, and to Clarence City Council for their financial support on BBQ supplies.
Walk & Talk with Glebe Hill Bushland Reserve Landcare Group
The first stop was Glebe Hill Bushland Reserve. It was a beautiful morning to visit the reserve, with Adam Holmstrom leading a really engaging walk through part of the 22 ha reserve. We heard how the new Interp trail has enticed more visitors to the reserve recently, and they undoubtedly leave with a better understanding of the ecological and cultural value of the reserve. Every sign on the trail tells the story of a plant or animal living in the reserve - from the meaning of the scientific name, to the uses and meanings that the Tasmanian Aboriginals have for the plant or animal - and feature drawings made by children at Howrah Primary School. Chris Johns from Clarence City Council provided the group with a background on the Reserve Activity Plan that is used to management the natural values of the reserve. Chris and Sally Johns were also eagle eyes for orchid spotting too.
Wildlife cameras have been another really useful way of showing the biodiversity that is usually hidden from the average visitor to the reserve, including identifying a healthy population of Bettongs on the reserve. These images are being uploaded to the groups website to be provide more communication with the public and add more natural value points to the Natural Values Atlas.
This video of a bandicoot was captured a couple nights before the event:
From the same night, this shows a cat out on it's nightly roam, demonstrating one of the threats to wildlife here.
Cambridge Primary School Landcare Group and the history of the Barilla Rivulet
It was then onto Barilla Creek where another member group, Cambridge Primary School has been part of a significant riparian restoration project with the support from adjoining landholders, Council and Landcare Tasmania.
Cambridge Primary School students, teachers and parents have been working on a number of activities along Barilla Creek. These activities have been strongly supported by Clarence City Council and Landcare Tasmania where weed control works and restoration plantings have transformed the creek. Steph Murfett, a parent from the school gave a presentation of the wonderful changes from n the creek being thick with blackberry and other weeds that you'd think it was a lost cause to the transformed functioning creek and how the kids have been taking on “outdoor” classroom activities- from bush art to successful plantings, fungi spotting and evidence of Bandicoots and Wombats.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman and Councillor Kay MacFarlane were on hand to meet and talk with local Landcarers. Mayor Chipman went to Cambridge Primary School as a student, and told attendees how important community Landcare was in supporting Council to manage its natural areas and also how important it is for groups to get together and celebrate areas like Barilla Creek and Glebe Hill Bushland Reserve. (He could also remember the school being one room and Richmond road being gravel)
Wildlife Monitoring Cameras were discussed by Landcare Tasmania's Peter Stronach. He mentioned the difference in quality of cameras, batteries, the importance of passing on data collected to the Natural Values Atlas, the correct use of memory cards and much more. A full review of a number of cameras is featured in this months newsletter, Dirty Hands.
Getting to know some waterbugs with John Gooderham
The kids definitely thought this was the best part of the day. With his typical humour and enthusiasm, John showed us how to swish the waterbugs into our nets and check the health of the rivulet's ecosystem. Everybody got involved!
This activity is an introduction to the Water Bug Accreditation Program that will be held later in the year. For more information on the Water Bug Blitz click HERE
The handy takeaway message: lots of legs = healthy aquatic ecosystem, no legs = not so healthy. The Waterbug app was a fun tool to learn more about what we found. Check out all the legs! Looks like the restoration efforts are a success.