Friends of Aranda Bushland

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Friends of Aranda Bushland

to conserve and rehabilitate the bush

What is Friends of Aranda Bushland?

Friends of Aranda Bushland started as a volunteer parkcare group in 1990 in response to concerns about stock on the adjacent wooded slopes. Park management had targeted this in 1989 as suitable for nature reserve. Our concerns were supported and the area added to Aranda Bushland in 1992, effectively doubling its size.

Our aims were to conserve and rehabilitate the bush so we started removing woody weeds to give the bush a chance to regenerate. There were big weeding parties in the initial three years - especially when we winched out the pampas grass and tackled a 300 metre hawthorn thicket that no one believed we would conquer.

Once the bush was 90% free of woody weeds, an ambitious project was born. We embarked on a documentation project to photograph all the plants and collect herbarium specimens.

The group was incorporated on 25 March 1993 so we could obtain a grant for the photography. Additional grants were obtained for mapping and later for preparation of a field guide to bring it to the print stage. We borrowed for printing.

Our Patch, field guide to the flora of the Australian Capital Region as photographed in the Aranda Bushland was published in December 1997 and is available in the Botanic Bookshop and some tourist outlets.

The herbarium specimens are in the Australian National Botanic Gardens Plant ID centre.

What we do

Weeding

Our patch is a very special one with healthy bush, a high diversity of species and little damage since partial clearing by early settlers. Our aim has been to remove the weeds and deliberately let nature take care of regeneration. Aranda Bushland is now largely weed free, but regular follow up is necessary to keep it so. Hawthorn hunts are held at least three yearly.

Regular weeding commenced in Aranda Snow Gums in 1999 with woody weeds cleared quickly. St John's Wort remains recalcitrant and is our main spring-summer focus. We obtained heritage listing of the remnant Snow Gums in 1998 and nature reserve status in 2002.

We have an annual weeding party in the adjoining Glenloch rural lease in thanks for a public corridor for our self-guided walk.

Parks, Conservation & Lands supports us with equipment and chemicals to control weeds.

Delicious morning teas build energy & team spirit

Communications

Our aims are to enhance the quality and availability of knowledge of the flora of the ACT for both present and future generations and to contribute to knowledge of that flora.

Our Patch continues a popular photographic field guide of the trees, shrubs and grasses of Canberra's hilltop reserves. We have sold over 3,000 copies and the second edition was published in 2007.

Our Frost Hollow to Forest Walk was developed in 1996 as guided walk to showcase ten species of eucalypts and four distinct ecosystems in a one to two hour walk. An NHT grant in 1999 to 2002 to conserve and rehabilitated the Ice Age remnant Snow Gums enabled us to create a self-guided walk with ten interpretative signs.   In 2012, the walk was upgraded with the support of an Australian Government's Caring for Our Country Grant through the Communities in Landscapes project.

The walk passes through the snow gums, then crosses woodland and climbs the hill to Aranda Bushland, and finally returns to Caswell Drive,
taking one to two hours.

On a gentle/moderate 2 hour walk it is possible to experience several distinct vegetational zones: the natural grassland of the frost hollow, the snow gums, the yellow-box/red gum grassy woodland and the dry sclerophyll forest of the Aranda Bushland itself. Ten different species of eucalypt may be seen on the walk.

Our Internet web site was launched in 1997 and is enhanced with data, newsletters and stories. An education project in 2004-05 created a suite of products for school children and their teachers.

Erosion control

Track maintenance to tackle erosion on our steep walking tracks has been a winter activity since 1999. We dig out rollovers that have filled in and compact the tops for easier walking.

Our 2006-07 Landkeepers project tackled the deep erosion gullies in Aranda Snow Gums with plantings of grasses and sedges. A another grant in 2009-10 is for landscape repair using woody weed debris from the rural lease and coir logs to create leaky weirs and reduce erosion by trapping soil and providing shelter for regeneration.

Why not join?

Canberra's bushland has rich flora and birdlife within easy access of city and suburbs - our heritage from the early garden city planners who kept the hills free of buildings and created green corridors between and within suburbs.

Aranda Bushland is one of many hilltop reserves that make up Canberra Nature Park. It provides a valuable wildlife corridor linking Black Mountain to Mount Painter and The Pinnacle and, in the other direction, to Bruce and O'Connor Ridges.

This linked crescent of hilltop bushland is large enough to sustain diversity in plants and wildlife - if it can withstand urban pressures.

Friends of Aranda Bushland is one many parkcare groups involved in conserving and rehabilitating the bush plus lobbying to protect bushland values.

Membership is open to everyone committed to furthering the group's objectives and wishing to participate in its activities.

We especially welcome those who live in Aranda and the adjoining suburbs.

Contacts

Friends of Aranda Bushland
Convenor Jean Geue, 6251 1601
Secretary Jenny Andrews, 6251 2427
Email FriendsofArandaBushland at gmail.com

Address for correspondence

Friends of Aranda Bushland Inc
PO Box 376, Jamison, ACT, 2614

Internet web site

www.friendsofarandabushland.org.au

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Last modified: 27/03/2014