Background: The Catchment has many small remnant patches of Natural Temperate Grassland scattered throughout peri-urban areas. This critically endangered ecosystem (less than 1% remains in south-east Australia) continues to decline from weed invasion, climate change, grazing, offsetting, and problematic managements. The Group established in 2016 to investigate which of the below management regime is most beneficial to maintain, recover and increase the presence of Natural Temperate Grassland in the ACT.
- mowing six times a year (common practice in ACT),
- autumn burns every two to three years,
- autumn burns every four to six years, and
- control (no treatment).
For more information go to Grassland restoration through fire management. and check out this video
Geographical area: There are 13 study sites throughout the Catchment that differ in degree of weediness. See map for more details by clicking on link to enlarge.
Who is involved: Friends of Grasslands, ANU Fenner School, Friends of Australian National Botanic Gardens and other volunteers come together to determine the plant species and their abundances every two years in the late spring.
The Rural Fire Service volunteers conduct the prescribed burns, Transport Canberra and City Services and CSIRO
mow one of the treatments. At the 2019 ACT Landcare Awards the partners in the project were Highly Commended for their contributions in the Australian Government Partnerships for Landcare Awards. Post-graduate students and scientists use the sites for other studies.
How can you help: From time to time the group plants locally extinct forbs and grasses into the surrounds of remnant patches to aid restoration and expansion. Volunteers are needed to do this task, as well as the biennial plant census. On ground training in plant identification is provided.
Contact: Volunteers can register interest with Ken Hodgkinson (E: firstname.lastname@example.org M 0429606788) or the GCG Office 62783309 or email@example.com
Photos all provided by Ken Hodgkinson
- Blue Devil in flower; 2. Tuffed bluebell in flower; 3. Butterfly on Themeda triandra panicle (Neville Dawson); 4. Bulbine lillies in autumn-burn plot; 5. Croke Place plot burning by ACT TAMS fire unit; 6. CSIRO farm fire trails Autumn 2017; 7. Ken at CSIRO Farm grassland restoration fires, Autumn 2018.