Webbed surprise from the Grassy Woodlands.

Our capital is surround by areas of beauty, from the very bottom of Namadgi National Park which covers almost 50% of the Australian Capital Territory to the very top of Mount Majura nature reserve. These are the areas that we need to look after and have constant plans for future improvement, without keeping these areas protected and looked after then we are losing huge amounts of biodiversity. Every little bit helps and with my work experience I choose to participate in restoring and conserving Mount Majura nature reserve.

With my volunteering I choose to help out “Friends of Mount Majura”. They are a small group of volunteers which meet every Friday for various conservation activities (which include weeding, planting, frilling and more).

Nature Reserve.

Nature Reserve.

We met up on a dewy Friday morning opposite of the The Fair in Watson, one Day One we set out to complete a few jobs, namely to use GPS to locate the rubbish that Waltraud (main volunteer) had located on a previous run. Rubbish, especially dangerous rubbish like the barbed wire pictured below is harmful to all species around the area, native or not, and needs to be removed to keep the area pristine.

White "mittens" left from careless visitors.

White “mittens” left from careless visitors.

The next job was to remove last years trees which did not survive and to re-dig holes and re-mulch with new plants which will hopefully survive the winter this year. (Mostly Acai and bit of Yellow Box).

Small plantings like these will help see the reserve back at pre-european settlement health.

Small plantings like these will help see the reserve back at pre-european settlement health.

Day Two included just me and Waltraud coming back to the reserve on a Monday morning, again the same dewy fog filled mystic field laid ahead of us but this time with a small surprise.

With the morning fog, we could see the spiders webs spun from the night before, biodiversity at its most visible light.

With the morning fog, we could see the spiders webs spun from the night before, biodiversity at its most visible light.

We then walked further into the reserve to tackle our main problem of the day, the Woody weeds. These weeds are introduced species from post-european settlement which inhibit the native species from seeding, remove these will give the native species to grow and seedy naturally without the competition for soil against the weeds.

Before. We applied herbicide straight after the cut to ensure the when sap recedes to the roots, it takes the herbicide.

Before. We applied herbicide straight after the cut to ensure the when sap recedes to the roots, it takes the herbicide.

After cuts and herbicide (coloured pink)

After cuts and herbicide (coloured pink)

As we dulled deeper into the reserve we could see that across the gully there were many less invasive species, although some including the Hawthorne and Primose weeds, still required removing we could see that the nature reserve was indeed recovering well. With previous years work across the gully showing vast improvement in restoring of the reserve. Although there is still a fair way to go, the nature reserve is indeed large and the Friends of Mount Majura definitely need few more working hands before restoring it to anywhere near the pre-european settlement.

Me doing some good old fashioned frilling of a hybrid invasive tree.

Me doing some good old fashioned frilling of a hybrid invasive tree.

This was definitely a rewarding and refreshing experience. Being able to go out to the reserve and make a short but noticeable difference was definitely rewarding. I urge everyone to visit and help out, events are every Friday at The Fair, Watson.

U5183951 (539 Words)

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About Biodiversity Conservation Blog

I am an Associate Professor at The Australian National University and convene a (very awesome) course called Biodiversity Conservation. Myself and students in the course contribute to this blog.
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One Response to Webbed surprise from the Grassy Woodlands.

  1. Chloe says:

    Looks like some hands on work! It would be cool to know how much this work is contributing to the restoration of the the area. Has any monitoring been implemented since this work began?

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