Newsetter August 2017

  1. Call

The annual call of $100 is now overdue. Many thanks to the 36 who have already paid. If you have any problems paying at this time please let me know.

Management Plan Question

Those of you who have not as yet said whether you would like a printed copy of the updated management plans, please do so by the end of next week (Friday 18th Aug). My thanks to those of you who promptly replied.

If you don’t receive emails you will get a copy of the plans.


As reported earlier, the AGM this year is to be held in the Tothills at 1:30 on Saturday 7th October at the usual site in the regrowth at Webb Gap. Several of us will be camping on at least the Friday and Saturday nights so please feel free to join us. (A ‘not very long drop’ loo will be in position! )

Denzel Murfett will speak of his work photographing and collecting the seeds of rare plants. See ( Retiring Directors are myself, Alison Bullock and Bren Lay. All three of us have renominated . If you would like to become a Director, and particularly if you would like the challenge of being secretary at some stage, please nominate yourself by letting me know by the end of August or have someone nominate you at the meeting.

Rockleigh Working Bee

A very successful working bee was conducted over the last weekend of July despite some very unpleasant weather. The track to the old campsite which had been overgrown by all the regrowth was tamed and the track itself repaired and upgraded to ensure water causes less erosion. The netting on the northern boundary fence was reattached where necessary and kangaroo runs filled in to prevent access by sheep. Some 50-60 plants were planted and many guards removed or replaced. Much weeding around plants was carried out. The invading false caper, Euphorbia terracina, was hand pulled but is an ongoing problem. Quite a bit of veldt grass was removed from the campsite area and around established plantings.

Due to the high winds and some rain we were unable to do the spraying of the slashed area of veldt grass or remove overhanging limbs along the southern fence line. That will be done in the next few weeks by the Rockleigh management group. See below for more details.






Working Bee at Rockleigh July 2017- notes from Graham and David

Weather wise it was a miserable weekend with very strong winds and quite a bit of rain. Cosequently, campers were at a minimum but much was achieved.

On the Saturday we had 11 people present, Bren and Elizabeth, John and Reiko,    John S, David, Tom R., Tom B., Barbara, Margaret and me.

The overgrown track leading to the old campsite was cleared and the track itself repaired. (The problem with the track is water running down and eroding it. Banks have been formed to direct the water away from the track.) Lots of false caper was pulled up from the roadside and in our property nearby and the northern fence line was repaired and kangaroo “runs” blocked where they gave access to sheep. Some 40 odd plants were put in the ground, some guards removed and others replaced. Several of the young Casuarinas had been damaged by kangaroos as they grew above the smaller guards. Larger guards, those made by Ross several years ago, were put over these. Lots of veldt grass plants were removed at and near the campsite. This is an area where the veldt grass is not so prolific and provides an opportunity to manually remove it. Marg’s wish is that everyone who goes to Rockleigh makes a point of removing at least 6 plants in this area each visit. The campsite area is looking really good with native grasses now predominant.

Lunch on the Saturday was a sausage sizzle and salads which was enjoyed by all as we sat around out of the wind. There was plenty of discussion as we also enjoyed tea and a variety of cakes. Many thanks to our small Rockleigh Management Group for their supplies and preparation.

On Sunday we had 5 on deck; new member Michelle, Janet, Andrew, Marg and me.

Andrew had 14 Accacia argyrophylla plants which we put in on the sandy rise at the back of the old camp site. We spent the rest of the morning removing the remaining false caper plants from the roadside.

After lunch, eaten while sheltering from the rain, we spent the time removing guards, weeding seedlings and upgrading guards where possible.

Many thanks to all who helped out. Despite not being able to do the spraying of the Veldt grass as planned because of the inclement conditions, I think everyone was pleased with just how much was accomplished.



Figure 1: E. fasciculosa (pink gum)


Those of us who helped at the working bee at Rockleigh on the wintry weekend of July 29-30 were well rewarded by seeing the results of all the hard work that had gone before. In particular, the sustained revegetation of the previously cleared cropping land along the road is now a delight. The range of species planted over many years, their recovery from the bushfire, and the appearance of spontaneous seedlings show how worthwhile it has been. Two standouts were eucalypts in full bloom, the pink-flowered blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp.leucoxylon), and the white-flowered pink gum (E. fasciculata). The blue gum drops a carpet of pink blossoms from mature trees along the roadside just to the east of our block, and it is great that it is natural in the area. Such coloured forms are sold in nurseries as E. leucoxylon ‘Rosea’. The pink gum is close to the northern limit of its range at Rockleigh. It is “almost” a South Australian endemic, with a few stands in the Little Desert of western Victoria, just over the border from the South East population. Its name E. fasciculata comes from the bundles (“fascicles”) of terminal flowers so prominent when it is in flower (see photo). The lack on anthers on the outer long stamens is also characteristic of this species.



Figure 2 : Pittosporium ‘invading’  the veldt grass