We’re all spending lots of time at home this year, with many people making the most of the restrictions by getting out into the garden.
Our Conservation team have helped us choose some of the most common plants in backyards – all of which are classed as environmental weeds in Victoria, meaning they are invasive and threatening to our native environment. We’ll be showcasing a weed of the month over the next few months.
Conservation Leading Hand Rachael Beecham said it’s important to remove weeds growing in your garden because they won’t stay in your garden.
“Weeds have incredible means of spreading throughout not only your neighbours garden but our native bushlands. Birds, water and wind all spread the seed for kilometres.”
Weed of the Month: Red Hot Pokers – Kniphofia uvaria
Where it’s from: Native to South Africa
It’s a fast growing, very tough and invasive plant that is tolerant of the salty coastal environment. It grows to approximately 1.2 metres in height and in thick tufts, and the seed is dispersed by wind, travelling up to 1 kilometre. It also seems to like being burnt and will flower vigorously after fire. This species is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria and New South Wales.
Pokers are a popular garden plant because they are low maintenance and have striking red and yellow flower heads during winter and spring.
“When removing weeds from your garden, try to remove them before they flower or produce seed. This will help prevent new seedlings emerging the following year. If the weeds are flowering or covered in seed, make sure you put them in your bin.”
Find out more information about weeds in the Surf Coast Shire and how to treat them here.
Works to eradicate an infestation of Italian buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) at Spring Creek in Torquay are set to begin as the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and RACV Torquay Resort work together with Jan Juc Coast Action to bring the weed under control. Read more →
Have you seen this weed? That’s what Jan Juc Coast Action volunteers and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee staff are asking the public as they up the ante to eliminate the highly invasive South African weed Gazania from the Jan Juc cliffs, other public spaces and hopefully people’s gardens. Read more →
National Volunteer Week (NVW) is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution more than 6 million Australian volunteers make to communities across the nation.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee are grateful for the support environmental volunteer groups contribute to help preserve the natural coastline for future generations. This week we would like to showcase some of our dedicated volunteers and say thank-you for their ongoing contributions to the environment. Read more →
Lorne volunteer groups are combining to tackle invasive weeds as part of an annual effort to conserve local parklands, while encouraging others to take small, environmentally-aware actions every day.
Friends of Queens Park (FoQP) and LorneCare will conduct three intensive working bees between August and October, joining together to overcome weeds in popular local destination Queens Park.
FoQP Chairman John Wilson said that while weed removal was a priority and essential to protecting and enhancing biodiversity, the group was also focussing on educating others.
“Removal of garden escapees such as boneseed, cape broom and sweet pittosporum is an important part of creating a sustainable coastal environment, however weed removal is not the only focus for environmental volunteers.
“FoQP is trying to let people know that conservation extends beyond weed control, and that the real meaning of conservation is about making environmentally conscious choices in our everyday living,” he said.
LorneCare Co-founder and Co-convener Alain Purnell said the personal satisfaction of being involved in local conservation is one of the most rewarding elements of volunteering.
“Working along the coast and in Queens Park, we continually see the progress our groups have made,” he said.
While environmental volunteering often involves hands-on conservation, Mr Purnell said it was the social aspect and sense of satisfaction that motivated volunteers to continue their involvement.
“These types of groups are a great way to meet new people in the community, whether they are local residents or seasonal holidaymakers.
“Volunteering is a great excuse to catch up with friends and have a barbeque to celebrate our achievements for the day,” Mr Purnell said.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) works alongside and supports volunteers in their environmental efforts.
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale praised the ongoing dedication of volunteer groups operating along the Great Ocean Road.
“Our local volunteers do a fantastic job along our coast and their ongoing support of our conservation efforts is unparalleled.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to help protect our precious coast.
Simple actions such as staying on designated walking tracks, removing environmental weeds from your garden and avoiding fenced off areas make a real difference in the preservation of fragile ecosystems,” she said.
Queens Park is a popular recreational destination consisting of over 40ha of parkland and is home to the recently rebuilt Teddy’s Lookout.
FoQP and LorneCare’s next working bee will be held at Teddy’s Lookout at 10am Sunday 18th October and new volunteers are always welcome. For more information about FoQP, LorneCare, or your local community group visit our website.
Conservation is more than just weed eradication. Share what conservation means to you in the comments below.