Some observations by an amateur Landcare enthusiast. December, 2014
We came to Red Hill South 16 years ago to a 10 acre property which was overgrown with pittosporum, blackberries, Spanish heath and self-sown pine trees.
Over the years the blackberries and pittosporum have almost been eradicated, the Spanish heath has all but gone, and thinning the pines has allowed healthy regrowth of many native species including tree ferns and native grasses.
Initial plantings of indigenous trees were largely unsuccessful due to black wallabies which found the young plants most tasty, and only about 10% survived.
Over the last 18 months, with the assistance of grants from Melbourne Water and the Red Hill South Landcare Group Communities for Nature Project, a further 180 indigenous eucalypts and acacias have been planted in the winter and spring, with amazing results. The success has been due to the construction of wallaby guards placed around each tube stock plant. The guards are 1200 mm high and have a diameter of 600mm, made of rabbit netting, and held in place by two stout 1800mm stakes, held to the netting with tie wires.
Other weeds requiring attention have been forget-me-not, ivy, and karamu.
Large areas of natural regrowth have occurred, with messmate, prickly moses and blackwoods predominating
We have been very conscious of creating wildlife corridors, and these are now almost completely established around the perimeter of the property, including several acres of regeneration and plantings at the headwaters of the southern branch of East Creek.
An interesting benefit of the restoration work has been the big increase in the numbers of birdlife, wallabies and echidnas.
All of this work has not been cheap, and the grants have been greatly appreciated.
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