May Newsletter

Greetings All,

Two down and one to go! Attached is a copy of the updated Tothills Management Plan. Many thanks to all contributors whether in rewriting out of date sections, updating details, proof reading, supplying photos or putting it all together. We all hope you enjoy the finished product. One tricky bit is what to do about printed copies? Can you print a coloured version for yourself or are you like me and have a black and white printer? I would be interested to hear from you whether you would like the Company to print copies for everyone (once all plans are complete) or whether to leave it to individuals to do their own. The Company will need to print copies for the half a dozen members without emails and we will continue to supply new shareholders with a printed copy.

John recently hosted a good gathering of the Friends of Private Bushland group on our Tothills property. The weather was great and John conducted a short and interesting walk in the Webb Gap area after giving the group a rundown on the history of our Company. The highlight was the mass of yakkas growing on the rocky ridge above the campsite. Despite having finished flowering they provided a spectacular scene. (See the first photograph in the Management Plan taken a few weeks prior to this outing). Thanks John.


February newsletter


I hope you have all been coping with our new weather system. While it has been excellent for some people regarding crops and hay some I know have had their hands full coping with fly strike on sheep and clearing fallen trees. Rockleigh has had above average rainfall which has possibly helped furnish us with new weeds, certainly helped the veldt grass to a bumper season and hopefully helped our seedlings and established vegetation through the summer. Whether the weather had anything to do with it or not I don’t know but a koala made a brief appearance on the property back on 20th December which adds another species to the mammal list.


The Rockleigh Management Group has been busy. We have carried out a trial mistletoe removal taking all the mistletoe from 5 E. porosa and 5 E. fasciculosa trees, all very heavily infested. Five similarly infested trees of both varieties have been marked and will be observed as a control. There are many reasons for not doing this and some previous trials (not on our property) have proved ineffective, but such is the prevalence of mistletoe we thought it worth a trial. We have also poisoned the veldt grass in the slashed area north of the ford. We have done this in a series of blocks trialling 2 chemicals at different concentrations. The other slashed area (below the old campsite) will be treated in winter as recommended by the chemical manufacturers. How we go about revegetating these blocks will depend largely on the outcome of the poisoning. Seeds have been collected of various native grasses and suitable plants for revegetating.

The Tothills have also received good rains. Thankfully fences at creek crossings have not been affected but John has been kept busy keeping other fences clear of fallen trees and branches. John also successfully applied for a grant from the Northern and Yorke NRM’s Burra to Kapunda project which covered the costs of volunteers’ travel and fencing materials when 1.2 km of fencing on the western side had to be upgraded.

The grant also included money for soursob and fox control. An appreciable part of the grant was donated back to the company by our generous volunteers and shareholders and this can hopefully be used to reduce John’s work load.

The update of the Tothill Management Plan is near completion and will hopefully be delivered to you as an email attachment in April.

At a recent directors meeting Anthea Howard and Aidan Galpin from DEWNR talked about Fire Management on KI and their efforts to develop a Fire Management Plan for the Dudley Peninsula with an invitation for us to join in the planning. At this stage we have declined but the communication lines are open. Should we as a group decide that some controlled burning on our property was desirable it would be in our interest to be a part of the scheme as it would automatically give us Native Vegetation clearance permits. If you have any views on this I would be happy to hear them.

Friends of Private Bushland

John Smyth will be leading a group from FoPB on a walk in the Tothills on April 9th.

New Shareholders

We welcome Michelle Denny and the Ragless family (David, Lorraine, Ruth and Kathryn) as joint shareholders and farewell Andrew Crompton whose shareholding they have acquired. We look forward to meeting them soon.

The AGM Weekend

The Al1120528GM went very well with the weather being very kind until late Sunday morning when it blew us out of the place. Eight people camped on Friday and Saturday nights, 14 helped out at the working bee and 25 attended the meeting.

A display of photos courtesy of Bren and Elizabeth Lay and Kerry White showed various aspects of Rockleigh taken before and after the 2013 fire. Kerry  threw in a mystery photo of several white splodges in the creek with a prize for the best explanation of the situation. There were many interesting ideas but the actual scene was the Adelaide Hunt Club’s hounds on an outing with their brightly clad followers. And “No”, they should not have been there and “Yes”, the Hunt Club did receive a follow up letter.


 The working bee group managed to remove a large number of guards and weed many young plants while Bren, Elizabeth and Marg found a couple of pre Bushland photo points and re-photographed the scenes. This very interesting comparison between 1997 and 2016 will hopefully appear in the revamped Management Plan.

Our guest speaker at the AGM was Grace Hodder who is doing her PhD on diamond firetails in the Mt Lofty Ranges and has 2 sites on our Rockleigh property. She gave a very interesting talk on her methods and possible findings. Grace is investigating the finches food sources and how this affects their survival. Unfortunately many firetails at Rockleigh do not survive the winter and her study suggests at this stage that by encouraging native perennials we may be able to help them.

Grace addressing the AGMl1120580


  l1120567Our Relaxed Chairperson, Bill


We have a new director in Steve White who has a lot of practical experience in environmental matters . He replaces Tom who has given Bushland valuable service and will no doubt rejoin the Board at some future stage. Marg Brown, the other retiring director, was re-elected.

In an endeavour to increase the participation of members in working bees we are calling on anyone with an interest in helping to send me their name and phone number (mobile if possible) so we can call people up at very short notice to inform them of a working bee. Possible options at this stage are seed collection, removing guards and / or weeding within guards, summer watering and fence repair.

After the AGM John attempted to clear debris from the fence where it crosses the creek on the eastern boundary but due to the depth of water was unable to do it all.Meanwhile another group tackled the blocked pipes under the ford. With the help of much shoveling and a plumbers snake both were cleared with a consequent large drop in the water level over night. This will limit erosion of the ford from over flowing water.

On the Sunday morning 8 of us tackled the invasion of False Caper on our southern boundary. It was a much bigger job than anticipated and took a good 15 volunteer hours with the north wind increasing all the time. Many thanks to all involved, particularly Denzel who made a very early start and to the youngsters, Kimberly and Brodie, who worked tirelessly throughout.

 l1120542 Rockleigh -Looking good .

Newsletter June 2016

 Greetings All,

I have had a couple of trips to Rockleigh recently. One was notable for the heavy fog which enveloped the area. It was quite eerie wandering about and not being able to see much further than about 50m. That visit was after the very windy Monday in May which resulted in the destruction of several large trees, mainly Callitris, including the old one by the creek that once hosted an eagle’s nest.

Apart from that the property is looking good with reshooting on eucalypts up to 4m high and lots of seedlings still trying to gain ascendency over their many neighbours. Bird life continues to abound with about 40 species noted including restless flycatchers.


Recently, Marg Brown and I attended a “Celebration of BushBids” at Cambrai. It proved a very interesting day with several recipients of BushBids relating their stories on how the money had helped them in their conservation issues. Bushland, through the efforts of Bill Matheson, received a grant of about $4700 in 2006 which ran over 5 years and was used to help with pest problems on Rockleigh. A general question / answer session at the end showed how much people had enjoyed the expert help available as well as the money and how disappointed most were that the program is now in its final year. The morning tea and lunch supplied by the local “Hall” ladies was of course exceptional.

As a follow-up, Nicola Barnes, Senior Project Officer Ranges to River with the SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM, joined Marg and me at Rockleigh where she helped put up 10 very sturdy guards (which she supplied) over some young Casuarinas that the roos were eating. She also offered some good advice on ways to go about tackling the Veldt Grass problem and ways she can use funding to help us.

A Thank-you

Thanks to Bryn Troath, a long time member, who recently donated a 2 0litre backpack pressure sprayer for weed control. Unfortunately, there is much it could be used for!!




Newsletter April 13th


 Greetings All,

This is a short newsletter, but important because of the AGM.

Waiting List

As many of you are probably aware we have a waiting list for those who wish to join our company. Currently we have 9 of these people of which several are unable to raise the funds to buy a share holding in the near future, (new house commitments etc). It would be good to extend our list. If you know of anyone who may be interested and who you feel would make a good shareholder, please ask them to forward their details (name, address, email and phone no.) to me or offer to do it on their behalf. Thankyou

What will I do with my shares??

While many of us have probably already organized where our shareholding will go on our demise, I have had a few queries regarding this issue. One possibility if you have run out of other options is to give them back to “Bushland”. The benefit to the Company in doing this is that it creates a spare shareholding which can be sold if we were to buy more land, or sold to help disburse a large shareholding which may come on the market.


All the best,



Newsletter March 2016


     54 Fairlie Dr, Flagstaff Hill SA 5159

Ph 83707951 email

Greetings All,

New shareholder

We welcome Scott Hartshorne to the Company. Scott is an artist who lives on KI. He is very keen on the bush and conservation and will be a great help to Deb Sleeman and others in the management of the KI property. Many of us were fortunate to meet Scott, and sample his scones, at the open day on KI after the last AGM. Scott recently purchased Geoff Rowett’s shares. We thank Geoff for his support of the Company over the last 22 years.



Congratulations to Janet Pedler and Lynn Pedler. Janet received a much deserved Pride of Australia Medal in the Environment category. Janet’s work in conservation and the environment has been ongoing for almost 40 years both privately and in conjunction with many environmental organisations. One particular contribution that stands out to me because I have attended one of the many courses she has conducted, is her association with the Nature Conservation Society of SA and the consequent development of the Bushland Condition Monitoring Method. Lynn received Birds Australia’s J N Hobbs Medal “…in honour of his extraordinary field skills and tireless efforts to locate and manage some of South Australia’s most elusive and threatened birds” We are probably all familiar with Lynn’s work in protecting Glossy Black Cockatoos on KI.


The fledgling website  for Bushland needs your photographs. If you have photos of Bushland activities, fauna or flora that you think are interesting please send digital copies to Alison. If you wish to be acknowledged as the photographer please state that as well. Please name plants, animals, people etc if you can. Alison’s email is . Thankyou