Tue, 30/11/2010

Mary recently joined a weekday working party of Fotpins (The Friends of the Pinnacle) to hoe weeds at the Pinnacle Nature Reserve. Mary joined Bob Hodgson, Vaughn Cox and Vaughn’s daughters, Chelsea and Laura, to weed (technically called grubbing!) pest species that have been targeted by the group.

The reserve is located behind the suburbs of Weetangera and Hawker, and has magnificent views of the Molonglo Valley and the Brindabella Ranges.

“The wet spring has caused many Thistle, Verbascum and Patterson’s Curse seeds to germinate. We need to prevent them from setting seed and creating a bigger problem next year,” Mary said. “Achieving this reduces the soil seed bank, and means fewer weeds from each year to the next”.

FOTPIN has prepared a Community Weed Management Plan for the reserve, which shows how with a few more dedicated volunteers the weed menace can be controlled. The group used hoes, herbicides and brush cutters to tackle the broad scale weeds, with advice and training of the rangers who care for this area of the nature park.

“FOTPIN’s weed plan points to the problem of introduced grasses. The reserve was previously an agricultural lease, and so was pasture improved for production. Now those exotic grasses and herbs are a major barrier to restoring the reserve’s biodiversity” Mary stated “and I’m pleased to say my Government has allocated almost $19,000 to the group to test ways of addressing this challenge,” Mary concluded.