Bushcare

 

Fern Tree Bushcare

Fern Tree Bushcare Group is one of many in the Hobart area who attempt to preserve the native bushland around the city. In Fern Tree's case this is on the lower slopes of Mt Wellington, mainly above the Pipeline Track as it passes through Fern Tree. We work on public land, although we have done extra sessions on private land working with the landowner. We are supported by Hobart City Council who provide a vehicle and supervisor, with all tools and safety equipment.

The major problem is escaped garden plants which invade the native bush. Particularly bad in Fern Tree is holly, along with other weed species such as cherry laurel, cotoneaster, blackberry, sycamore, foxglove, broom, karamu and orange hawkweed.

In 2013 we reprinted our Fern Tree Weed Booklet which lists most of the weeds that occur in this area. This was distributed to all households. If you are new to the area contact us to get one.

We also printed a leaflet specifically about holly which is the main invader of our bush. The bushcare group spends about 90% of its time removing holly. We also encourage and are able to assist landowners with mature hollies. If we could get rid of the mature hollies which provide the seed source we would have some hope of controlling holly. Download holly leaflet.

Contacts: email: bushcare@ferntree.tas.au or phone Rob or Murielle on 62391991

We meet on the second Sunday of each month from February to November at 10:00am to 12:30.

Our meeting place varies - see here for details of our current program .

After each session we usually have a picnic lunch together so bring along something to share. We provide tea, coffee, hot water, mugs. This will either be at the work site, at Fern Tree Park, or sometimes in one of our houses if the weather is bad. (If the weather is very bad the session is usually cancelled!)

In 2017 we will make a start in a new area on Dunns Creek, below Summerleas Rd, focusing on Spanish Heath. Private landowners above the council land at the bottom are trying to control Spanish Heath on their properties and we have found well established mature plants growing lower down in amongst the bush which need to be dealt with at the same time. Later in the year we will be tackling holly and daphne laurel (a recently introduced plant that has the potential to become a major problem) in the upper Grays Rd area. We are also playing catch up from last year when we lost 3 sessions to bad weather or strong winds.

We are all volunteers and there is no joining fee. Children can take part, up to adults of many years.  Families are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Training in plant identification and weeding methods is given. For holly, we use the cut and paste method, cutting the plant just above ground level and pasting immediately with herbicide. Children are not permitted to use herbicide, but can help in many other ways.

What to wear (from the HCC Health and Safety Policy):

Mandatory:Bushcare Volunteers must wear fully enclosed, sturdy shoes to Bushcare Program Activities at all times, to the satisfaction of their Bushcare Supervisor.

When working in vegetation that has thorns / spines, or in dense vegetation, or where the supervisor deems there is an increased risk of snake or insect bite, or when using herbicides, Bushcare Volunteers must wear a long-sleeved shirt and trousers.

Recommended: Bushcare Volunteers should wear a hat and sunscreen during Bushcare activities. The Hobart City Council will provide SFP 30+ sunscreen for all Bushcare Volunteers completing Bushcare Program Activities.

When not working in vegetation that has thorns / spines, or not working in dense vegetation or when not using herbicides, it is recommended that Bushcare Volunteers still wear a long-sleeved shirt and trousers for general protection. Zip-off trousers are recommended as an appropriate option for people who prefer to wear shorts.

Hobart City Council provides tools, safety equipment, and covers insurance, as well as a person with a first aid certificate. The HCC also put on a BBQ for all bushcarers (from all the bushcare groups) at the end of November each year, which is usually held in the Fern Tree Community Centre.

 

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