On the spring 2017 community planting day, ten of us put in a total of 1,050 shrubs and trees, although truth be told, Phil Kinghorn planted a good 200 trees on his own around the hill the next day. The chosen Sunday was sunny – a pleasant change from the driving wind and rain we have experienced since August. We had a barbecue lunch next to the repurposed pine and OSB wooden container that once carried railway parts. Phil gets these for free from the Ballarat railway station yards. He and Neville weatherproofed the container with 2nd hand gal and it offers a shelter and focal point for site visits, right next to the pruned and thinned farm forestry clumps of shining gum and Sydney blue gum.
We guarded the casuarinas as the wallabies love to snack on them. The other shrubs we simply staked to ID where they were. They were planted on a 2-3m wide strip that had been sprayed with glyphosate and simazine, with this strip arcing around to the north of the current biorich plantation. We debated slashing, but in the end weather defeated us and we decided, anyway, that the long grass could hide the shrubs from wallabies and rabbits. The grey box, black wattle and manna gum and other forestry trees went on a northern aspect on the hill and around the central dam. Some went on the perimeter around Footrot Flats, which went underwater last year and only a few trees from the previous 2015 spring planting had survived. Forestry trees were donated by Central Highlands Water, Steve Murphy who helped run the day, donated 40 drooping sheoak. AFG gave $750 to the branch.
We put in more of the locally endangered provenance of Banksia marginata. That along with another endangered shrub, Hakea decurrens, flourish on the hilltop. The biorich plantation is acting as a seed bank, as well offering habitat and farm forestry resources.
Gib Wettenhall is interested in how we carry out large scale landscape restoration that involves the people who live in those landscapes. That, he believes, would build truly resilient landscapes.