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Tuesday Jan 24th, and the redoubtable Green Corps have arrived on the field. The Allies will have their help on a number of occasions over the coming few months. A big progress boost for the FOTTB and this forest.
Several fronts were opened, the largest beside the creek at the main road culvert. No friendly casualties reported.

The Corps return to the fray on the 14th of February and we shall engage the cestrum thickets above the creek confluence. It will be another St Valentines day massacre.
A good time is expected to be had by all.

Breaking & Merely Cracked News...


Rotten Road Run-off Wrecks Regrowth

A truckload of rock on our site
Click this photograph for a more detailed pictorial

A Special Report

The FOTTB and the Green Corps team have suffered a disappointing setback when shortly after they had spent days removing the re-emergent weeds from a sigificant re-growth area, beside the Monbulk Creek and below the main road, a rainstorm washed a truckload of road metal onto the site (again...)

The Friends are not having much success having this problem addressed by the power-that-be, VicRoads.
They have expessed the hope that they can attract some attention this time and have a permanent solution to the problem.

A new fence separating the road from the national park appears to be stuck somewhere in the same pipeline.

The above photograph indicates the condition of the ancient fence as well as showing the devastation to the newly rehabilitated bush.

Newsdesk Editorial

Where's Vic?

Our attempts to contact Vic have failed he won't return our e-mails. Mr Roads, if you read this, please consider our plight. This a becoming like a cruel joke. We're beginning to think you don't like us. The area already carries tonnes of blue metal from the previous washouts.
A 20 metre sealed spoon drain appears to be beyond the planning, funding and construction capabilities of Mr Road's organisation. We must be in a parlous state indeed.

One of the quirks of being a volunteer on land that is not your own is that quite often, some of the very people who benefit from the work, because they have less responsibilities and less to do, are less than helpful when we would like some quid pro quo and don't even return communications.

One can easily be taken for granted. Perhaps we haven't been trying hard enough...



Doodia australis, called the Rasp or Hacksaw fern for rather obvious reasons. The red frond is new.

A bushland volunteer has discovered a colony of the fern Doodia australis also known as the Rasp or Hacksaw Fern growing happily on the Puffing Billy Railway Right-Of-Way and this is the first report the Herbarium have of these ferns occurring in the Dandenong Ranges

An un-named source said that a small number of hen's teeth have also been found nearby, as well as the rare spoor of Tiltus Equestrius

The isolated and thriving fernery, located in Sycamore Parade, West Weed City, survives under a Maple canopy and was in the process of being overwhelmed by horrible rhizomeatous Bamboo, Holly and Cestrum elegans and it's estimated that they would have been swallowed up and eliminated by the weed growth within another couple of years

The destructive and all-consuming weeds have since been dispatched humanely and themselves eliminated from a buffer zone around the small fernery and care will be taken in the future to preserve it
A posse of local Kookaburras has been deputized and organised as a sentry detail

A Newsdesk Investigation

Belgrave to Emerald Trail Mystery

A Yarra Ranges Council sponsored feasability study is in the pipeline to assess the possibility of linking the ridge towns between Belgrave and Emerald with a more or less gently-graded footpath largely utilising the Puffing Billy railway reserve.
The proposed path would link up with the Cardinia Trail to Cockatoo and points beyond and continue the path that already follows the big railway from Ringwood.

Many residents have expressed delight at the prospect of being able to walk to the next village without getting skittled as there are currently no footpaths linking these towns and residents are reduced to walking on main roads or steep secondary roads. This seems apply most acutely to the Selby/Belgrave foot-access situation in particular. There is none whatsoever, aside from the dubious legality of walking on the railway (something scores of residents do every weekday to get to work, school, shops and trains)

The Newsdesk has uncovered an intriguing mystery related to this section of the proposal. That is, where are you going to put the path twixt Selby and Belgrave?
The conundrum has the wisest heads scratching.

Both the Benson's Deviation and Stoney Road routes are too steep and don't have room on the verges anyway.
The railway line has no room either side because of the steepness of the slope that it traverses fom Belgrave to the Bridge.

Local forest rehabilitation specialists, the Friends of the Trestle Bridge, who spend a good deal of their spare time head down and arse up freeing the Monbulk and Clematis creeks and their gullys from choking environmental weeds and thinking about the area and issues, claim to have a creative, appropriate, organic solution that will please all parties, and help local interests to turn over a dollar in the future.

When pressed by Newsdesk for some detail, a spokesperson said "It's all on our website, Mr Kent. Just click on the Op/Ed link on the navigation bar. While you're here, do you reckon you might help us neck some weeds?"

New Projects

Puff And The Friends Join Forces

The strategy to rehabilitate the stretch of the Clematis Creek below the station plateau is engaging the planning staff and there has already been several hundred plants acquired for the big push.

There will be mulch applied to the banks and the strategic objective is the re-creation of a manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) and blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) dominant creek flat and the annihilation of the occupying pussy willows and other pernicious enemies.

This will be a relatively quick operation as rehabilitation results go as the bones are already there in the form of existing mature blackwoods and an intact creek lining of Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns. There are entrenched weeds to winkle out first in hand-to-hand fighting and that is the next mission for our brave and loyal troops.


One of our number has been selected for the Greening Australia Habitat Conservation and Management Course held over 15 weeks at Heidelberg and featuring 7 weekend field trips to various sites all over the Melbourne area.

Instructors include Leon Costermans, Darcy Duggan, Randall Robinson, Lincoln Kern, Jason Horlock, Gidga Walker, Alan Yen and Kate Blood.

This course place was one of ten kindly and very shrewdly sponsored by the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
A more astute investment would be hard to imagine.

Have a look at they what they offer. Anyone can enroll.

Greening Oz Education & Training Page
Education & Training Pages

Newsdesk's roving correspondent will be posting dispatches from the various field trips as the course progresses.

Watch this page....

How Goes The War?

Dispatches from our brave correspondent, firmly embedded in the War On Weeds

The weeds occupying the East Belgrave loop have begun a retreat towards the down home signal in the face of superior weaponry and the surgical application of chemical weapons (cut and paint)
Help has come from the western district in the form of a trained killer from Winchelsea, which is the other side of the black stump from here.
Many hands make weeds die.

Rob's discovered that once you hit 50
Rob Colenso Working
life has a tendency to become a bit of a blur...

A skirmish has begun at the mouth of the culvert that runs under the station plateau to flush out well dug in positions of well-armed blackberry and ivy on the banks of the Clematis Creek. One fighter from the small assualt team of one was lightly wounded (a number of times).

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