Although it took over one and a half hours travelling and much roadwork on the Ballarat highway a group of fifteen gathered to hear the quite amazing facts about this very special area.
Just a few years ago much of it could have become more housing for Ballarat but a dedicated enthusiastic group managed to convince the authorities of the importance of a continuous green corridor on the eastern edge of the growing city of Ballarat. So the pine and blue-gum plantations, which constituted about half of the area, were razed and regeneration and some seeding is occurring. The success of the project is found in the multi user groups coming together under a single banner of keeping the area as a park for all.
Innovative ideas for the park such as ‘pop up’ fungi and wildflower walks, a dementia walk with an app featuring associated natural sounds, and regular events and speakers maintain interest. Many people use the area which is dry woodland with mainly Box and Stringybark eucalypts with an abundance of grasstrees.
Introduction by Bob and Jeff
Bob and Jeff showed us the Gorge area and we saw some of the issues they are facing such as erosion from 4WD’s and bikes, and rubbish dumping. We drove a short distance to the Lookout with a stunning view over Ballarat and the surrounding hills and heard about the recent astronomy evening held here.
View towards Ballarat
After lunch in the shade we took a short circuit walk through the bush.
We noticed a few small Brown-tipped Greenhoods and an emerging Tall Greenhood.
Some of the grasstrees in this area were affected by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Birds seen included White-throated Tree-creeper, unidentified robin, Spotted Pardelotte, Grey Fantail and Grey Currawong.
Everyone enjoyed their day out visiting a new area and hearing and seeing how another Friends group operates. Thank you to Bob, Jeff and Rob and the Friends of Canadian Corridor.
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.