Tarra-Bulga National Park: A Work in Progress.

Renowned for its stunning cool-temperate rainforest, luxuriant tree-ferns and towering Mountain Ash trees, Tarra-Bulga National Park is cherished by Gippslanders and enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.  The original separate small, but significant, Bulga and Tarra Valley Parks were reserved just over a century ago while the giant forests surrounding them were being laboriously hand cleared by selectors to turn into farms. Clearing this land turned out to be folly, the terrain, cold winters, bushfires, weeds and rabbits all contributed to the farmers giving up and walking away, leaving scrub and noxious weeds in their wake. Forestry and sawmilling in the area for timber and pulpwood also led to the loss of more of the original giant trees.

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Bulga Park Entrance Circa 1930

In recent years Tarra-Bulga National Park has expanded. New areas including abandoned farmland have been added with the goal of physically linking Tarra Valley and Bulga Parks as well as to reduce visitor pressure on significant sites, provide greater recreational opportunities and protect additional vegetation communities representative of the Strzelecki Ranges. It is recognised that Tarra-Bulga National Park has the potential to become even more spectacular and significant as cleared land is successfully regenerated.

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Monitoring past  work by the Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park

To this end the Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are seeking volunteers interested in helping with the regeneration process. The group holds occasional work days on weekends, undertaking activities such as planting over-storey trees and controlling noxious weeds. The next activity is scheduled for Saturday July the 23rd  30th and will focus on removing tree guards from successful new plantings. The meeting point will be at 9.30am at the Visitors Centre Car Park. For further details or to register your interest in helping out Friends of Tarra-Bulga with any of their activities email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com  or phone 0488 035 314.

Working Bee/Scenic Walk

The Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are holding a working bee on Saturday April 30th and are would welcome new or existing volunteers to come along.

 The worksite is in a remote part of the park and getting there will involve a scenic 3km walk through beautiful tree-fern filled Mountain Ash forest. The work will involve removing tree-guards from previous plantings and re-using them to plant more over-storey trees.

The meeting point will be the park visitors’ centre at 9am. BYO snacks, drink, gloves.  For planning purposes please RSVP to David on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com P4180171a_2

 

Tutsan under sustained attack

A small crew turn out for yesterdays working bee with the aim being to continue work on tutsan at a site in the Tarra Valley that had been sprayed by contractors in March. Having been several months since we had viewed the site we ventured in with nervous anticipation. The possible scenario being anything from complete success with the spray having knocking each tutsan plant stone dead or the other alternative where the spraying was ineffective and the tutsan was thicker than ever.

After the climb up to the site the initial news was good with the remains of dark brown and dead tutsan clearly visible. We set to work in a methodical fashion and soon found plenty of living plants to deal with, mostly on the outer edges of the infestation, some that had been sprayed and not completely killed and others that had been missed. We found few (if any) newly germinated plants from seed, but there is bound to be a massive seed bank present which you can guarantee will get sprouting at some stage.

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As we walked further into the site, cutting and pasting living tutsan as we went, we found further evidence that tutsan that had been growing out in the open was completely dead and areas that had been thick with tutsan had now opened up. Pioneer species such as white elderberry (Sambucus gaudichaudiana) were popping up in the bare ground now exposed. The plants that were not out in the open are harder and intermingled with native species are harder to deal with and a number of large unsprayed patches further up the slope were discovered. They were too big for our small crew to tackle in one session and where mapped for us to tackle another day. One open slope area that had been sprayed had a fair proportion of plants still alive and reshooting, so a far bit of time was required to retreat them with poison. Although it was easy to lose count we treated at least 300 living tutsan plants in around 3 hours. We also worked on the odd bit of blackberry as well as approximately 20 sycamore maple which was the original weed we targeted on this site, we were originally pulling out maple seedlings by the hundreds. Overall the spraying made possible by a Communities For Nature Grant has been very successful but as anticipated we will need to do follow up work at this site over a number of years to promote the regeneration of native species and prevent the Tutsan coming back.

Wednesday Working Bee

This may be of interest to anyone who enjoys lending a hand towards a good cause. We are holding a small working bee next Wednesday (September 16th) to hopefully finish off the work on our Grand Ridge Rd planting project for this year, start time will be 9.30 am. Any helpers would be greatly appreciated, phone: 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com for further details.

Planting site on Grand Ridge Rd
Planting site on Grand Ridge Rd

Planting Day – August 29th

Friends of Tarra-Bulga are looking for volunteers to assist with a planting day on Saturday August the 29th.

The planting site is on a north facing slope along the Grand Ridge Rd, it had been originally successfully planted with Mountain Ash in the early 1990’s. Unfortunately the fires in 2009 killed them all and there was no natural regeneration of new overstorey because they had not yet started to flower and produce seed. This is the second year we have done planting at this site and with the aid of strong wire-mesh wallaby guards progress towards restoring the site is going fantastically well.

If you can’t make it along for the Saturday we do need volunteers to help make up tree guards before the event and may need to do some more planting later on if we don’t finish the job on the 29th, so let us know if you are available.

The meeting point on Saturday the 29th will be at the park visitors centre at 9.00am.

BYO: Lunch, Drinks, Gloves.

To register phone David on 0488 035 314

or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

Planting Day 29-8-2015

Planting Day 29-8-2015

Diaper Track Planting Day – July 18th

Friends of Tarra-Bulga are looking for volunteers to assist with a planting day on Saturday July the 18th. This will be the third planting we have undertaken at this site along Diaper Track and we are really starting to see some fantastic results. It would be a great opportunity for past volunteers to come along and view the progress being made, but anyone interested in helping restore a towering Mt Ash forest is encouraged to come along.

The meeting point will be at the park visitors centre at 9.00am.

BYO: Lunch, Drinks, Gloves.

To register phone David on 0488 035 314.

Planting Day Diaper Tk 2015

Can you spare Tarra-Bulga a bit of time?

Weekends are busy times with lots of important stuff to do like shopping, housework, playing/watching sport, sleeping in etc, but why not put all that on hold tomorrow and join us at our working bee.

The Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are seeking volunteers on Saturday April 18th to help with some weeding and preparation for an upcoming planting day.

The worksite is along Diaper Tk and getting there will involve a scenic 3km walk. The work involves rehabilitating a site where a major infestation of Sycamore Maple was discovered several years ago. The site is quite overgrown with re-growth scrub and as well as looking for weeds to pull we will be clearing new tracks to allow easier access for a tree planting planned in July.

The meeting point is at the park visitors’ centre at 9am. You will need to take a cut lunch and your own drink. For further details phone David on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

Come and help us turn this scenic but scrubby site back into towering Mountain Ash Forest
Come and help us turn this scenic but scrubby site back into towering Mountain Ash Forest