Garden Escapees

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.

Roo family caught on coastal camera

The image of a kangaroo and her joey are among the new images capturing some of the coast’s diverse fauna as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) motion-sensor, infrared camera monitoring. Read more

Meet Rachael: GORCC’s new conservation team member

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is excited to welcome new staff member Rachael Beecham to the conservation team.

DSCN3547Rachael is absolutely thrilled to be helping to protect and enhance the coastal environment along the Great Ocean Road.

The team is responsible for the conservation efforts along the coast between Torquay and Lorne with a particular focus on weeds and native vegetation, and on working with community groups and other partners.

Over the past 2 years Rachael has volunteered with the conservation team whilst completing her Diploma of Conservation and Land Management at The Gordon Institute of Tafe.

Screenshot_2015-04-22-09-17-52Rachael is passionate about the environment and brings a fresh enthusiasm to the team.

“I’m absolutely loving what I’m doing at GORCC. It’s such a great learning opportunity and I feel so lucky to have this position.

“I love that I’m doing something different every day and making a difference along the coast.

“I’m especially looking forward to assisting GORCC with our new environmental monitoring project. We’ve already started the flora monitoring but I’m really excited to do the animal surveying,” Rachael said.

More information on GORCC’s staff team is available on here.

Have you ever thought getting involved in helping to conserve the coast you love? Ready to roll up your sleeves? Find out more about coastal volunteering along the GORCC managed coast.