Central Gippsland Woody Weeds Action Group – Has a new direction.
The Central Gippsland Woody Weeds Action Group (CGWWAG) is now in its third year and is continuing the community driven battle against Blackberry and other woody weeds such as Gorse and Broom. Initially formed as part of bushfire recovery based efforts to get on top of returning weeds, the group is expanding its reach to surrounding areas and aims to be a support network for landholders facing the task of managing invasive weeds on their properties. The group’s operations are based on the Community Weed Model which has been used successfully in Victoria to control Serrated Tussock, Gorse and Ragwort.
The aim of the group is to reduce the growth and spread of blackberry on private land, and also on public/private land boundaries, by working together with all land managers to implement appropriate control measures. To achieve this we are seeking to connect with landholders to help us identify infestations in your area, to let us know if you have a successful control program on your property or to discuss difficulties you may have.
Ian Ewart the groups Chair says that “Landholders can follow their neighbours and sign up for a voluntary three-year agreement, where they agree to take certain actions to manage Blackberry on their properties, if everyone agrees to do their bit we can ease the on-going negative impacts that the spread of these weeds have. We aim to find ways to assist people to do this in any way we can.”
David Akers has been engaged as Project Officer and is keen to hear from landholders in the group’s focus area, which is the northern part of the Strzelecki Ranges between Callignee and Boolarra. David will focus on touching base with the many landholders who have already taken up Management Agreements and done works to control Blackberry to date. He is also keen to work with people who are keen to join in and do their bit to control weeds in their neighbourhood.
Blackberry is a noxious weed that is a major threat to both agricultural production and the natural environment. Immediate control is imperative to achieve the community’s desire for long term, permanent control of this plant in the Central Gippsland Area.
Do you have some bushland on your property and are curious to know what wildlife might be around? As part of this Bushfire Recovery Project we are using remote cameras to get an idea of what animals have survived or recolonised the burnt areas. At this stage (after about a month of filming) we have recorded species such as Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Wombats as well as Foxes (unfortunately widespread) and Rabbits. We are very keen to move our cameras around and hopefully get some evidence of some smaller marsupials thriving such as Bandicoots and Bush Rats, or even get some snaps of a Strzelecki Koala. Get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in borrowing a camera to use in your patch of bush.
Blackberries are clearly one of the most heavily established weeds in this district and are a major issue for farms where they take over productive areas and provide a harbour for vermin. They are also a major environmental weed that can invade native bushland and reduce the quality of habitat for native fauna e.g. The Strzelecki Koala. The fires, by burning off the above ground blackberry shoots have temporarily improved access to areas and provided an opportunity for blackberry regrowth to be more easily treated. There are many resources available to provide information on the best techniques for Blackberry control one of the best being the Blackberry Control Manual it is available online via this link : http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/weeds/publications/blackberry
The Central Gippsland Woody Weeds Action Group was formed in response to the opportunity to provide a community driven response to Blackberry control in the local area.