Every Monday morning of the month, bar one, a dedicated group of weeders meets near the ANGAIR Office.
They will go to work in one of the approximately 30 reserves around Anglesea and Aireys Inlet that ANGAIR monitors for weeds and they have done this for more than 20 years now. These reserves may be managed by Parks Vic, the Surf Coast Shire or the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and they welcome volunteers. There can be as few as six workers but there are often ten or more.
Cotton On Foundation volunteers
When ANGAIR takes on a new area, it may be seriously weed-infested and daunting. Grants pay for contractors to remove the larger trees and ANGAIR workers slowly return the area to something resembling its original state. Depending on the size of the area, this can take years. Removing Boneseed from the Painkalac Creek valley, for example, is an ongoing project which can now be managed successfully with just one visit a year.
Carl Rayner coordinates our Environmental Care Team and has done so for 12 years. In addition to the regular weeding activities detailed in the newsletter every month, outside groups request to work with us in environmental care activities.
RRV and ANGAIR volunteers
This last month alone, the Cotton On foundation, Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) and a group of Brighton Secondary College students have worked with us to remove heavy weed infestations in three separate areas.
Hard working Brighton SC volunteers
Gaining extra assistance through grants are an important part of this work—in 2020 alone, ANGAIR has been successful in gaining funding for the rehabilitation of an area in the Painkalac valley (featured in a previous newsletter) and for the removal of Sallow Wattle in two large areas on the outskirts of Anglesea near Coalmine Road. Together with promised assistance from Parks Vic, the amount we can put towards these three projects comes to almost $35,000.
Previous assistance sought and gained over the past two decades totals many tens of thousands of dollars as well.
Adding it all up, we can be justifiably proud!
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.