A group of us met with Steve Murphy and Matt Pywell from Wild Plants (on right) to discuss details of the mix of plants to go along the biolink ridge. Matt came up with the brilliant suggestion of the ImLal biorich site becoming an ark for locally endangered species. The ridge will be suitable for clumps of local species of coast banksia (B. marginata) and serrated hakea (H. decurrens). Matt says both are under pressure from seed collectors and command seed prices of $1,500-1,600/kg. Becoming an ark for locally endangered species adds another commercial option for biorich designers to explore.
Phil Kinghorn, Gary Featherston and I marked the outer edge of the proposed 50 metre wide biolink, which will connect the south and north ImLal sites. The biolink will sweep in an arc from the hill around the ridge along the western side of the central dam.
Imerys is contracting Jensans to respray the gorse and rip four rows approximately eight metres apart.
We have applied for Communities for Nature funding and will know the outcome in June. In the meantime, we have to take our chances and prepare the ground if we are to plant the mixed bag of selected indigenous species of shrubs and trees this spring. The CfN grant is for 2,000 plants, which Imerys will top up with another 500.
Species selected for the biolink were chosen by Stephen Murphy.
Finally – two years down the track – Geelong Landcare Network co-ordinator Bronte Payne (pictured) and Steve Murphy were able to carry out the direct seeding at ImLal South last weekend. It's always been too wet to get into this low-lying area, but last weekend the planting conditions were perfect.
"Plenty of soil moisture and the soil was loose and friable when the disc cut through it," reported Steve. "We planted local Swamp Gum, Blackwood, Silver Wattle, Prickly Moses, Prickly Teatree, Woolly Teatree, River Bottlebrush, Native Hemp, Grey Everlasting, Silver Tussock Grass and some Tall Sedge.
"The whole process took about three hours with half the time taken preparing the seed and calibrating the direct seeding machine."
With the good soil moisture and warmth, Steve reckons that the seed should germinate within four weeks.
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.