Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Slackest Bush Regeneration Group in Town

Working in Franke Scrub

Are we slack, really?
Well, not precisely - but we don’t work very hard. This is because our precious little piece of scrub has relatively low weed infestation. Keeping it in good condition doesn’t require a huge commitment of anyone’s time, nor any really heavy work.
Our enthusiastic group has four to eight working bees a year, with the assistance of Steve Plant and his staff. (Steve is the Natural Resource Management Field officer, Northern Region, Toowoomba Regional Council.)
Jobs range from the really tiny (a blunt knife and something to put the weeds in is all you need, to do valuable work removing tiny asparagus fern seedlings) - to the quite large - which means working with a little spade or mini-mattock.
Secateurs are essential equipment for everyone, as is your own safety equipment - sun protection gear, insect repellant, sensible shoes or boots, and gloves.
Morning tea and a chair are also good things to bring, as we stop work for a morning tea break and a chat at 10.30am, before deciding, individually, whether or not to work on till lunchtime.
Next Working Bee: Next week
Wednesday 23rd September, 9.00am

To Get There:
Turn west at the southernmost set of traffic lights on the New England Highway, into Cawdor Road.
After approx. 1.6k, turn left into Cawdor Drive.
After approx. 2.2k, Turn right into Franke’s Road.
Continue off the end of the bitumen for several hundred metres. (Dirt road suitable for ordinary 2-wheel drive vehicles).

Do join us!

About Franke Scrub
Highfields / Cawdor
This tiny piece of semi-evergreen vine thicket on red basaltic soil is one of the few remaining remnants of this kind of endangered ecosystem in South-east Queensland, and one of the very few indeed on public land.
It is of both environmental and heritage value, in providing a rare opportunity for Toowoomba people to see what much of the original Toowoomba environment once looked like.
It is on a road reserve, and was thoughtfully preserved by the Crows Nest Shire Council, a council which enjoyed a good reputation for its environmental initiatives. Their staff ensured its survival by replanning the future extension of Franke Road to go around, rather than through the scrub, and has supported is since, with revegetation and substantial assistance given to a group of citizens which meets regularly to remove weeds.
A boundary of natural rocks has recently been positioned to prevent entry to the site by vehicles, and our new council plans to upgrade the signage.
Despite its small size, the scrub is notable for its preservation of 37 dry rainforest tree species,18 types of shrub, 14 climbers, and a range of understory plants, all preserved in a complete ecosystem with a high biodiversity level.
Unusually for such a small area, weed infestation is relatively low, with the main problems plants being climbing asparagus fern, green panic grass. There is a small area of cats claw which is being controlled but has not yet been eliminated.
For more on Franke Scrub, see

No comments: