Friends in the field

A large group of Friends attended Edgecombe Brothers Winery on Saturday 5th May to help erect the display shelter provided by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). When the job was completed we strolled to the Winery’s Lake Yakine at the rear of the property to see if there were any of the resident long-necked tortoises sunning themselves.

Thanks to Alf Edgecombe for plying us with refreshments to help the project along. As the venue is a wonderful tourist destination, the 3 DEC panels and Friends Group panel will be viewed by people from all over the world.

Several planting days have been held at Ellen Brook Nature Reserve to revegetate the new section of the reserve. Friends have planted both wetland and dryland plants, and Graham from DEC reports a good survival rate so far. The steady rains have sealed the clay, and the new dams are now filling. A big thanks to DEC crew members for their attendance and organization on the planting days.

Conservation Volunteers Australia, in conjunction with Midland Brick, have spent a week in the Reserve planting a wide variety of local provenance plants in the degraded areas.

Students from years 5, 6 and 7 at Mirrabooka Primary School decided after studying Threatened Species for the term, and becoming aware of the problems with declining habitat, decided to become part of the solution, requesting their teachers arrange an opportunity to revegetate the habitat of a Threatened Species. The Western Swamp Tortoise was the animal chosen, and the children went to Ellen Brook Nature Reserve in late June. Unfortunately, the previous week had been rain free, and the ground was extremely hard. One child remarked that “this isn’t soil, it is cement”.

Thanks to the DEC crew who dug 300 holes with pickaxes on the day before so that the students could realize their aim.

If you are traveling along Great Northern Highway in the vicinity of Bullsbrook, keep an eye out for the large posters on the amenities block in the park on the corner of Chittering Road. This park is a favourite stop for tourist buses to stop for morning tea, and was identified by Melanie, one of our members, as a great location for the old Gull posters (since replaced at Ginger’s Service Station by new DEC posters). She followed through with the City of Swan, who not only gave permission for them to be displayed at that location, but were happy to install them for us.

A big thanks to Melanie for her hard work on this project!The Fremantle Literature Centre has obtained the original sketches and paintings from the book Yakkin the Swamp Tortoise from Guundie and Gerald Kuchling. They will use the wonderful paintings to enhance visits by school children and demonstrate the work of an author.

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