Heathmont Railway Line

Hi all

The recent working bee was another success with everyone tackling Wonga Vine and Quaker grass along the railway line.

I will let the photos do the talking though! Enjoy!

Metro Trains destruction

Unfortunately we have been informed by one of our members, that Metro Trains has “massacred” the last stretch of remnant indigenous bush along the railway line between Bedford Road and Heathmont Station.  You will note the photos below, which were only taken recently, showing the beautiful spring flowers.  The second set of photos shows the destruction.

It is fair to say that Metro is concerned about trees which may fall across the railway tracks and also have concerns that their drivers may have for impeding vision of the railway tracks, but the total destruction of the area is a step too far.

Our member did make a complaint to Metro and they were advised that the area was cleared because of overhanging branches, signal clearance and bushfire risk!  (minimal at the least!)

However, importantly, Metro Trains went on to say that Keep Australia Beautiful may be able to maintain such a significant bush area (as they maintain other areas which Metro is aware of and keeps away from).

Perhaps this is something we as a group can consider to include in our working bees in conjunction with some assistance from either our local council or Keep Australia Beautiful.

Your thoughts on this matter would be appreciated so please contact us on our email address.

Uambi Working Bee

It’s after 7.00 pm and it’s still daylight! I hope everyone remembered to change their clocks! This is my favourite time of the year as its now moving quickly into summer.  Heathmont is bursting with flowers and everything is certainly awake after the hibernation of winter.

Hope your Sunday was as fabulous as ours.  We had a great morning out at Uambi and thanks to Roger for a great bush walk.  Its amazing what a couple of hours in the bush can do to your soul.

Thanks to all the locals who braved the elements this morning.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, however Will Harper sent me these beautiful photos of  flowers currently blooming in Uambi. (click on the photos for a larger view)

See you all at the next meet.

Working Bee: Heathmont Railway

The sun was shining, the people were smiling, the flowers were in bloom and oh it was so good to be outdoors last Sunday.  I could have sworn I was deep in the Aussie bush and it was only the occasional train that would bring me back to reality and remember that I was actually in suburbia!

What an absolutely beautiful site it is.  Mother Earth certainly put on a show for us.  Can’t wait for the next working bee.

Uambi: Update from planting and weeding bee in April

Members of Heathmont Bushcare will be delighted to know that the rains of recent times have been very beneficial in helping the little plants that were planted at Uambi (Harper’s Bush) in early April to establish themselves. Several weeks of very dry weather immediately after this batch of baby plants were put into the ground meant that each had to be individually watered, by hand, twice, in order to stop them shriveling up! The cold, wet winter weather of recent days has provided its own challenges with some plants becoming waterlogged, but so far only 2 of the 100 plants have not survived. That’s an impressive 98% success rate and a real testament to the care with which they were put into the ground over a month ago.

The cold and wet weather has also had the benefit of slowing weed growth in recent weeks. There are several invasive weeds to be found in Uambi which need constant monitoring, removal and sometimes spraying. The largest of these is the Radiata Pine which can grow up to 35 metres tall. These spread easily but are also easy to identify and remove when young. Sweet Pittosporum, ironically an Australian native plant which grows to 15m high, is another tree-weed that spreads very easily. It grows well in disturbed soil and its seeds are distributed far and wide by birds.  English Ivy, Onion Grass, Montpellier Broom and Wandering Jew can be a problem at times, but Asparagus Fern and Blackberries present more of a problem at Uambi as they are both very invasive and very difficult to remove. Blackberries really require spraying (often more than once) in order to kill them. Pulling out by hand is difficult because of the thorns and spread of roots, and often not very successful as blackberries will sprout again from any part of the root remaining in the soil. Asparagus fern is a native of South Africa that, given a chance, will completely smother other plants. It is an aggressive climber producing underground tubers which form dense impenetrable mats. Again, this makes removal by hand difficult but at least it does die easily and quickly when sprayed.

The winter months, when weed growth slows, allow us to concentrate on removing some of the larger weeds, such as the pine trees by ring-barking and the pittosporums by cutting them back and then poisoning the stems. It can sometimes seem like an overwhelming and never ending job, but with the help of Heathmont Bushcare members, we are slowly but surely winning.

Everyone can help by removing weeds from their own gardens and public spaces, and by discouraging neighbours from planting them. Much information about common weeds and how to remove them can be found at the Community of Ringwood Indigenous Species Plant nursery (CRISP) at 17 Greenwood Avenue in Ringwood.