Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the FOGG excursion to Woohlpooer but soon after (Nov 1) I went with the Grampians Australian Plant society to nearby Woorndoo to look at work to protect the rare grasslands on the roadsides and on private property. Fascinating.
We started with looking at beautiful grassland flowers on two sites alongside the roadside,
We then moved back to the hall to hear speakers present on why these grasslands are so important. Neville Walsh from the Melbourne Botanic Garden introduced “The forgotten flora of the volcanic plains” . We learnt how rare indeed they are, and some of the reasons for this. These plains were quickly settled for grazing, and the paucity of classic Australian groups like Grevillea, banksia, Acacia, Epacris meant they were not seen as worth protecting. So now remnants are mainly limited to railway lines and road reserves. And recent management of these has not been helpful. Also these reserves being narrow and linear they are very susceptible to weed invasion. Then a speaker from the CMA told us about the work being done on private property, and how important even small patches are.
We were fed lunch and then were taken to two patches of roadside reserve to learn about the experimental work being done to maintain and preserve these. They are removing all the topsoil so all weeds are also removed, and then reseeding with grassland species.