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Red Hill Reserve news

There have been a number of things happening recently regarding the Red Hill Reserve, which may be of interest:

1.     Track repairs: The Parks and Conservation Service has let contracts to undertake repairs on some tracks and trails in the Reserve.  The map attached shows where repairs are planned, including both of the major paths up Red Hill from Mugga Way, where repairs will be made to the steps together with other improvements.  The other path which will receive attention is part of the Red Track walking trail, which leads down from the saddle south of the cafe and along the east side parallel with Mugga Way. The exact dates for this work will be determined soon. Parts of these paths will be closed when repair work is proceeding.


2.     Blackberry spraying: Opportunities for blackberry picking on Red Hill will decline as the weather turns colder.  Very soon a contractor will be spraying blackberry patches with herbicide, starting at the southern (Hindmarsh Drive) end of the Reserve and working north.  Warning signs will be erected where the spraying takes place, and also at the entrances to the Reserve.  The contract will run from 15 March to 15 June 2024.  There are insufficient funds to spray all the blackberries on the Reserve this autumn, so we have applied for a grant to finish the job later this year or next autumn.

3.     Reseeding: Following extensive spraying and chipping over the past year, we are getting on top of the massive horehound outbreak at the western (Kent Street) end of the Reserve.  We continue to hunt down remnant outbreaks with the invaluable help from Nic and Victor, students at Canberra Grammar, who have been working every week for over a year on this project.  During this autumn, we plan to reseed part of the sprayed area, using native seeds provided by Greening Australia, and will be calling on volunteers to help for a few hours in the next few weeks. An email will be sent out with details.

4.     Myrtle Rust: Our regular volunteer Trish has drawn attention to the problem of Myrtle Rust and how it is being combatted. More details here.

5.     Are we in danger from falling trees? During periods of bush fire and wet weather, the Reserves are closed to the public and volunteers are requested not to work there  because of a possible falling tree hazard.  Clearly there are times when steering clear of trees is a wise decision. But how hazardous is it generally to walk or work under trees? To help answer this question, a very interesting paper has been published by professional arborists, using Australian data including some collected in Canberra:

For those who wish to skip the stats, it is worth going straight to page 14, where it is reassuring to find that driving to a Regenerators work activity could be 250 times more hazardous than chipping thistles under a tree on the Reserve. The less said about the hazards of falling out of bed the better…

Hoping to see you at our next work activity. Remember – drive carefully.