2020 October Newsletter

The AGM went well with 26 people attending and 15 shareholdings represented. It was particularly good to see some of the next generation there. Thank you all for your interest and the chance to catch up both before and after the meeting. We had a few campers on Friday and Saturday but only Denzel braved the forecast rain and stayed on Sunday night. He estimated about 10 mm of rain fell overnight. Thank you to all the experts among our membership who so freely lead walks and help others learn about the area in general and plants in particular.


Alison , our current Chair, thanked Bren for his years of service on the Board. Bren retired to have more time to rehabilitate their Harrogate block burnt out in the fires earlier this year but will continue in his role as Property Coordinator for Rockleigh. He is replaced as a director by Denzel . Thanks Denzel for taking on the challenge. Graham and Alison were re-appointed. The Directors continuing are Steve , David , Marg  and Bill .

Surrender of Shares

A number of shareholders have expressed an interest in leaving their shares to the Company.

I reported that our best advice to those wishing to do so is to either have a clause in the will stating your wish is to surrender your shares to the Company in which case the shares are cancelled, or to instruct the executor to sell the shares and give the proceeds to the Company. The former gives the Company an extra shareholding which could be used to raise money to purchase new land or perhaps split a large shareholding that is for sale. The latter gives the Company cash to be used as required or as stipulated in the will.

The Constitution

Unfortunately, the new constitution was not ready for discussion at the AGM. Draft 2 should be available next week. This will be distributed, for comment, to those who have expressed an interest in helping with it. Should changes be suggested, the Board will then deliberate on them before forwarding to our lawyer for a final draft. This will then be distributed to all shareholders and a vote to adopt it will be held at either a special general meeting or the next AGM, depending on the time taken to reach that point.

Rare orchid – thanks to Denzel for the following:

Hello members,

Early in September I helped ecologist Jerry Smith search for Caladenia gladiolata “Bayonet Spider-orchid”. This orchid is critically endangered in the Southern Lofty region with just a few plants hanging on in Scott Creek Conservation Park.

Historical records show it did occur in the Tothill Ranges. There are a few records from the late 1970s to early 80s. Another known location was from Hornsdale in the early 1900s, now well cleared.

Having seen the habitat at Alligator Gorge where a few hundred plants still survive it still seems a possibility it might be in the Tothills. It prefers hillside woodlands with grassy/herb understorey where it can get some sunshine during the day to warm it to release its strong scent. Flowering time is from August to early October.


Capture.PNG alligator gorgeCapture.PNG denzel Capture.PNG 3

The first 2 images are from Alligator Gorge. Note thick calli. The smaller form is from Scott Creek CP.

To anyone interested in helping find this orchid, please take a photo of any orchid which looks to be this species anywhere in the Northern Lofty region and record the location. This would be a great break through if this species could be rediscovered in this region.

Thanks for keeping an eye out for special plants.  Regards  Denzel


Property Reports – Highlights

Andrew had cameras, recently purchased with grant money, on display, as well as some of the photographic results. These will be used for monitoring a variety of things eg roo numbers, occupants of burrows and users of tracks. It was also suggested they could be used to determine the pollinators of various plants, especially orchids. Andrew pointed out the need to explore data storage for all the data produced by the cameras. This could be valuable information for researchers in the future.

Peter  outlined his ideas for a more rapid revegetation of Rockleigh using Heritage Agreement Grants. With his valuable help the management group has applied for a $10,000 grant this year and, if successful, we will apply for the larger grants available next year. A key point in the application is to plant with the aim of helping tide the Diamond Firetails over winter as recommended in Grace Hodder’s research on the bird. Another element to the grant is using outside expert help and, to this end, Peter has been in discussion with the Goolwa to Wellington Local Action Planning Association (GWLAP). This group has a good reputation in revegetating in many types of environments.

On KI, the problem with the use of the bike track that had been carved out along the coast east from Black Point appears to have been solved with police intervention. Our thanks to Tom  and Deb  for their input.

All the best


Editors note: members family names deliberately removed.