A very small group of us headed off to Long Forest Nature Conservation Reserve to join the Friends of Werribee Gorge & Long Forest Mallee for a day out. We were met by Bob Reid who along with another member, Janet, took us for a most enjoyable walk through Long Forest.
Bob Reid welcomes the group
The reserve is approximately 600 hectares in size and comprises a number of vegetation classes which are listed under either the EPBC Act or the FFG Act including Rocky Chenopod Woodland Plains Grassland, Grassy Woodland and Stream-bank Shrubland. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded in the reserve. It provides a refuge and important breeding site for a number of threatened bird species such as the Painted Button-quail, Little Lorikeet, Sift Parrot, Barking Owl, Brown Treecreeper, Speckled Warbler, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Jacky Winter, Red-capped Robin, Diamond Firetail and Crested Bellbird.
Bird-life at the river
The Gold-dust Wattle was in flower and provided the main contrast of colour within the reserve. We also saw areas dominated by Bull-Mallee, Eucalyptus behriana, and Red Box, Eucalyptus polyanthemos. Amongst the Bull – Mallee we observed Cane Spear-grass, Austrostipa breviglumis, a further threatened species.
Group among the Bull-Mallee
After our walk, and during our lunch the Friends group held their meeting.
Lunch time meeting
Whilst we had been walking they had been doing some revegetation, so post lunch we joined in and helped plant the remainder of the local indigenous seedlings. The use of an auger made for quick and easy planting!
Friends of Eastern Otways help out with revegetation project
It was a most enjoyable day and a great chance for our new ranger Matt (who joined us for the day) to reconnect with the local community where he had most recently been .
Bob, Matt & Kaye on river walk
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.