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OUR second WORKING BEE JUNE 4 2023

We worked in the lower slopes, carefully digging up well-established Watsonia bulbs and Paspalum grass. Part of the challenge was working among the beautiful Microleana, Themeda Triandra, various Dianellas, lilies, orchids and more. What a joy to see them and increase their chances of survival.

We also carefully uprooted countless juveniles of the invasive Cleaver and a small but increasing population of the introduced Violet. We chopped out a few Gorse, with more to be dealt with! 
As always, working to achieve minimal disturbance.

We also discovered a large European Wasp nest which will now be 'killed off' (sorry Wasps). One nest can create hundreds of new colonies. Wasps negatively affect the ecosystem, reduce available food, scare small birds, attack indigenous insects and more. 

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Bags full of Watsonia bulbs and others...... great work and a good time of year to get this done when the soil is soft and bulbs will come up a little more easily.
Also, no flower stalks to scatter seed.

Productive and happy couple of hours followed by morning tea (great biscuits Tim).
Thank you also to our friends at Hohnes Rd Playhouse!

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Following a tremendous launch with our enthusiastic community, our first gathering on May 13 was brilliant!

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A big hooray for our first working bee and conversation - wonderful for everyone to connect with new and familiar faces, and share such a productive time (cassinia sifton must be quaking in its roots).

It was a thrill to see everyone's happy smile at the end of the morning. Thank you. 

Exciting bit of news is that we uncovered a lot of excellent species growing among the weeds. We dodged Greenhood orchids, Kennedia Prostrata (Running Postman), various lilies, AND a Glycine Latrobeana (Clover Glycine) which might be unmapped. These tiny plants demonstrate how careful all activity has to be to ensure no damage is done.

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It is also important to remember that all activity undertaken is site-specific. The fact that we are going hard at removing Cassinia Sifton and sensitively undertaking other ecological thinning, is in response to particular Management Plans and does not mean this approach can be applied elsewhere without careful consideration for all factors at each site. For example, the removal of any vegetation has an impact on bird populations and their movement, and the same goes for deer, whose cutting hooves cause much damage. We have seen areas that have suffered the consequences of deer coming in once the weed cover is thinned. Consideration of all pressures and characteristics is essential. We are fortunate that deer don't seem to be a problem at Hohnes Hill. 


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Just before the official Launch, Federal Member Kate Thwaites, Councillor Eyre, and Councillor Paine went for a walk in the reserve with Karl Just (ecologist) and Vicky Shukuroglou (Convenor for FoBHH). Biodiversity conservation and reinvigoration were discussed, and Eltham Copper Butterfly sites pointed out. Management plans for the other threatened species were part of the conversation, as well as the urgent need for significant policy development to ensure biodiversity decline is halted and reversed. The Launch was attended by more than 60 enthusiastic locals! Mayor Ramcharan also spoke, and Councillor Duffy also attended. 

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