June Jam Packed Jolly Report
The June Freycinet working bee was certainly jam packed (starting off with jam and cream and scones), and pretty jolly as well. Thirteen Wildcare volunteers spent 481 hours around Coles Bay and far flung beaches to the north, weeding, raking, burning, cleaning, clearing drains, picking up rubbish, pointing (rock work, not looking at views), putting up signs, eating and drinking and generally being jolly.
Most of us spent the full seven days housed in the comfy Le Repaire des Diables (rangers’ house), one hardy volunteer camped in his cosy van, and a couple of even more (fool) hardy workers braved the rain in their tent. It must have been OK as they did not want to move in with us. It was great that a couple of ‘locals’ (shack owners) joined us, plus a (slightly less) local from Little Beach.
The first task was to clear the accumulation of leaves, bark and branches from around the Visitors Centre, which was creating a fire hazard. I doubt that this had been done for many, many years as it took a lot of people a lot of days lighting lots of little fires, which continued burning for some time, despite the intermittent rain
Camp Ground Host gear was sorted, washed, packed away and tents pitched, cleaned, mended and sent off for repair.
Then it was off to the northern beaches to check for sea spurge from Chain of Lagoons to Falmouth. The highlight was when the Wildcare volunteer and manager of White Sands Estate, Mauricio Pontalti, provided us with a lovely picnic lunch at his Resort. We could get used to this. Two teams pulled lots of sea spurge plants, including 68 at the Edge of the Bay, plus removed thistles from Friendly Beach lagoons, psoralea from a roadside reserve in Coles Bay and thistles and sweet pittosporum at Richardsons Beach. Track clearing and dune rehahilitation was also undertaken at Richardsons Beach which well and truly deserves the Keep Australia Beautiful award it has been given. We also carted and spread 2 loads of woodchips to the staff quarters courtyard.
The evenings were not all eating and drinking and doing puzzles. We were lucky enough to have “Fulcrum Phil” to teach us the joys of mapping using Fulcrum and smart phones. It is brilliant, and if I can learn it in one easy lesson (well, a bit more, maybe 2 ), then anyone can. We now have a map of Freycinet covered in tell-tale dots so we can monitor our weeding progress.
The final day was spent repairing and repointing some rock walls at the Wineglass Bay car park – another new skill to add to our cv.
Many thanks go to David and Christine Harris, Ian and Joan Fitzallen, Margaret Waller, Roz Thurn, Phil Wyatt, Tony and Chris Barber, John Marsden-Smedley, Adrian Sullivan, and Christine Sedevic. As usual the Parks staff at Freycinet were wonderful, especially Fee Everts, Marty Wells and Steve Turner who worked with us and tried to keep us in order, and the Visitors Centre staff who welcomed us with a lovely drawing at the entrance to the Centre. Thanks also to head ranger Richard for the cakes and Marty’s wife who baked us muffins. And a special thank you to Mauricio, who would have loved to have been working along side us, but excelled himself in providing us with sustenance.
If you feel you have missed out on a bunch of fun, head for the Events Calendar on the Wildcare Website and register now for our Spring into September working bee at the same venue