Queens Park blitz a group effort

Students, corporate and environmental volunteers and land management agencies joined forces recently in a bid eradicate two of the worst weeds on the coast.

Year nine and 10 students from Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 and ANZ bank staff were amongst the group volunteers keen to protect Lorne’s iconic Queens Park.

Queens Park is 25 hectares of parkland which also includes Teddy’s lookout andlocal volunteer groups and schools often work in conjunction with the GORCC to both remove weeds and restore the area.

This event was organised by the Otway Community Conservation Network (OCCN) in an attempt to win the tough battle against Bridal Creepers and Boneseed weeds in coastal regions and across the Otway Plain and ranges coastal regions.

Brial Creepers smother native plants so it’s vital we control them now!


OCCN project facilitator Luke Hynes says Boneseed and Bridal Creeper are known as two of the worst weeds in Australia as they are spread very quickly.

“Boneseed and Bridal Creeper are emerging weeds in this area and it is essential we control these weeds before they become established,” he said.

For more information about Bridal Creepers and Bonseed weeds, click the links below:

GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said Queens Park is of high environmental significance and is home to some very unique animals.

“Many of the native animals who live in Queens Park are also threatened such as the Swift Parrott, the Rufous Bristlebird and the near threatened Swamp Anrichenus,” she said.

ANZ business analyst Georgie Roberts made the trip down to the coast from Melbourne with fellow co-workers, who are given the opportunity to do one day of volunteering each year.

“This year we decided to leave Melbourne and travel to Lorne because Queens Park is such a beautiful area and we were keen to get out of the office and spend a day helping to protect the coastal environment,” she said.

Lone-Aireys Inlet P-12 students and ANZ private banking staff were satisfied with their contribution to preserving the natural environment of Queens Park.

Friends of Queens Park President John Wilson said that working bees are common place in this area.

“We conduct regular working bees with volunteers and other local environmental groups including LorneCare, who generously give their time to clear weeds in the park and help to improve biodiversity in Queens Park,” he said.

How can I get involved in volunteering?

To find out more about the OCCN please visit their website www.occn.org.au

Friends of Queens Park also hold regular working bees in the area- If you are interested in their work, don’t hesitate to call 52891689 for more information.

For more information about environmental volunteering, please visit our website here.

New direction for conservation

The Otway Community Conservation Group recently held a  workshop  to  address future directions and potential projects for the management, protection and enhancement of biodiversity in the Otway region.

The Rufous Bristlebird is threatened by habitat loss. Improvement of wildlife corridors will help to preserve and increase habitat for a range of species, including the threatened Rufous Bristlebird pictured above, which has decreased in numbers dues to habitat loss and is now confined to a small pocket of coast in the Surf Coast and Otway regions.


OCCN facilitator Luke Hynes was encouraged by the outcomes of the workshop and feedback given by all representatives.

“Suggested project areas included further networking between groups, improving wildlife corridors, controlling pest plants and animals and increasing community engagement and education,” he said.

Why is biodiversity important?

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale believes biodiversity is important in order to protect our unique Australian flora and fauna.

“Conserving and enhancing this biodiversity in the Otway region will provide us with a much healthier and more resilient ecosystem.

“Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world and much of our flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else.

It is this unique landscape which gives us our identity as a country and the more we learn about, understand and respect our environment the better off we will all be,” she said.

Check out this video clip about biodiversity.  The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is working with volunteers to take direct action against invasive weeds and other critical threats to our coast’s precious biodiversity. But we need your help too.

Who attended the workshop? 

Around 30 natural resource managment staff and community volunteers attended the workshop.

Representatives from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Parks Victoria, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, local councils, coastal land managers, VicRoads, Conservation Volunteers Australia, ALCOA, Otway Conservation Ecology Centre, local Landcare networks and conservation groups also attended the workshop.

OCCN chairperson Roger Ganly said he was thrilled with the strong turnout, thanking all those who attended.

“We had a great representation from a cross section of the community and natural resource management sector across the Otway region,” he said.

 How do I find out more?

For more information please contact the OCCN Project facilitator Luke Hynes – PH: 0406 113 438; E: occn@occn.org.au or visit their website www.occn.org.au

You can also check out other blogs we have posted on the OCCN:

Input sought on Otways biodiversity.

Community Conservation Network forges ahead.

New network to protect Otways

Weeding out coastal invaders

A new conservation network is weeding out threats to native vegetation along the coast and you can help starting with your own backyard.

The Otway Community and Conservation Network (OCCN) is working to reduce the threat of two invasive weed species, Boneseed Chrysanthemoides monbilifera and Bridal Creeper Asparagus asparagoides.

Otway Community Conservation Network Introduction


http://www.youtube.com

OCCN project facilitator Luke Hynes says Boneseed and Bridal Creeper are regarded as two of the worst weeds in Australia due to their invasiveness and potential for spread.

“Boneseed and Bridal Creeper are emerging weeds in this area and it is essential that we control these weeds before they become established,” said Mr Hynes.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Officer Craig Clifford says that the weeds will be removed from public and private land, giving landholders an important role to play in controlling the weeds.

“We have been getting on top of infestations in some of the DSE managed areas but this is a great opportunity to assist adjacent private landholders,” said Mr Clifford.

“We have been getting on top of infestations in some of the DSE managed areas but this is a great opportunity to assist adjacent private landholders.”

September is the peak flowering time for both species and the network is preparing for a busy control period.

“September is the best time to control both of these species.  The yellow Boneseed flowers in particular are very easy to spot and control.

Boneseed flowers, one of Austrlia’s most dreaded weeds.

“It is important that coastal residents look out for these weeds and are proactive in removing these weeds from their backyards,” said Mr Hynes.

“It is important that coastal residents look out for these weeds and are proactive in removing these weeds from their backyards.”

During the early flowering period of August, OCCN mapped all known infestations of Boneseed and Bridal Creeper across the project area, which includes land from Anglesea to Port Campbell and through to Colac.

OCCN volunteers removing Boneseed on the Surf Coast

http://www.youtube.com

‘’With infestations in the project area mapped we can get stuck into control works before the plants set seed in October,’’ said Mr Hynes.

The mapping is guiding OCCN during the prioritisation process which will determine the most important sites for weed removal.

High priority sites include smaller, outlying infestations around Wye River, Kennett River, Borongarook, Deans Marsh and Bambra and heavier infestations between Lorne and Anglesea.

OCCN members Jack Pascoe, Michael Callahan, Gary White, John Wilson, Georgie Beale, Peter Hay and Ulric Orr.

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Conservation Officer Georgie Beale says that GORCC will be removing weeds in Anglesea with the help of funding from OCCN.

“OCCN has done a wonderful job coordinating all the conservation groups which was a large job in itself,” said Ms Beale.

For more information contact Luke Hynes PH: 0406 113 438 or Email: occn@occn.org.au

This column bought to you by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC). To view the GORCC website click here.

This column appeared in the Surf Coast Times on the 6 September 2011.

For more information:

Boneseed

Bonseed infestation map

Bridal Creeper

Bridal Creeper infestation map

The Otway Community Conservation Network

Are you an OCCN volunteer?

Would you be interested in helping to weed out the Boneseed and Bridal Creeper infestations?

Have you seen any infestations not included in the mapped area?

We would greatly appreciate your feedback!