Springtime Walks draw enthusiastic participants
We've had three, and a lot of people have come along. the orchid walk saw 35 people curling in a long line along the tracks, then spreading out to pick their way through the grasses, eyes on the ground looking for orchids, taking care where they placed each footstep because suddenly, there was a lot of individual plants there.
Andrew Dilley (in the white hat) introducing us to our first orchid. Andrew is a deeply knowledgeable enthusiast who has offered to support a small team of local orchid seekers as they follow the orchids through the year.
The last of our series of three walks saw us with Geordie Scott-Walker for an ecologist's perspective on Barrm Birrm. We powered on for the full two hours, covered a lot of country, and got a good sense of the way the vegetation system changes up the hillside, as conditions get drier.
I learnt that in Barrm Birrm there are four, not two, distinct Ecological Vegetation Classes. And Geordie corrected my identification of what I had assumed was a variant of Ovens Wattle. It was in fact another blow-in acacia to add to our hit list, Sticky Wattle, a long way from its home in Gippsland.
The sound of water running through rivulets into creek lines was a wonderful thing, but it was instructive to see the trail bike tyre print on the looping track we took heading down from the dam. The biker had just passed through, and I noticed that to avoid the exposed clay at the bottom of the track, the bike had sought out the edge of the track, disturbing more topsoil. The next rains will wash that away downhill, and the cycle of erosion will continue.
Councillor Rob Guthrie said he had walked in Barrm Birrm a decade ago, and thought the overall condition of tracks had deteriorated significantly. See below for what you do to help protect Barrm Birrm.