Green Tracks Activities

Come and join the Puffing Billy Green Tracks Project in some exciting community activities in 2014...

Activities >>

Green Tracks Training & Resources

Participate in a conservation training weekend or view our range of online training resources...

Training & Resources >>

Green Tracks News

Stay up-to-date on all of the Puffing Billy Green Tracks news, events and more...

News >>

What is Green Tracks

 

Overview

The 'Green Tracks' project is the on ground implementation program for the Puffing Billy Trackside Management Plan that was completed in late 2012.

Thanks to funding through Communities for Nature the recommendations of the Trackside Management plan were able to begin. In early 2013 intensive weed management began including detailed mapping of areas of most concern.

This information was then converted into an action plan which has continued through Winter and Spring. Other objectives of the project include Pest animal management; Cleaning of waterways; Revegetation, Biodiversity and habitat preservation and Engaging the community.

 

Areas of Focus

The overriding outcome of the management plan is to protect those areas of greater ecological significance while developing operational practices to complement these areas.

Then working towards areas of lower ecological significance with a much longer restoration duration and integrating operational practices to assist in its recovery.


Pest Animals

The pest animal program includes assessing the hot spots throughout the Puffing Billy Corridor. From this information an action plan is developed and some on ground works will be undertaken including warren and burrow collapsing, fumigation, community education with domestic dogs and cats as well as pest bird management. The main impact of pest animals on vegetation and habitat values are:

  • Localised extinction of some native plants species due to intense grazing by rabbits
  • Increased weed invasion due to selective grazing of native species and associated soil disturbance which tends to favour weeds
  • Major vectors [dispersal agents] of weed seed eg Foxes, Blackbirds
  • Predation on native fauna - cats and foxes being a primary threat
  • Competition for food and breeding habitat, such as tree hollows, by pest animals

 

Weed Control

Weed control has been approached in a strategic manner to make best use of available resources. A long-term strategic approach is therefore required to establish an effective weed management program. There are four key elements or objectives integral to this process that can be applied to various weeds over the short to medium-long term and form the basis of a works program;

PREVENTION  Early intervention in control of new emerging weeds such as Asparagus fern, Willow-leaf Hakea, Himalayan Honeysuckle that are present as isolated colonies along the corridor. These species are highly invasive and not otherwise widespread, but have the capacity to spread readily along the corridor and pose a significant long-term threat.

CONTAINMENT  Contain the spread of established high threat weeds e.g. Holly, Cotoneaster and Sweet Pittosporum. These species are otherwise confined to specific parts of the corridor but have a limited number of mature seed bearing plants established that are actively spreading along the corridor and surrounding properties.

CONTROL  Control and reduce the impact of established weeds on remnant vegetation and native habitat values.

ELIMINATION  Eliminate weed populations where feasible.

 

Cleaning of Waterways

Waterways along the Greet Tracks corridor include;

  • Hardys - Dandenong Catchment
  • Muddy - Westernport Catchment
  • Cardinia - Westernport Catchment
  • Wattle Creek - Yarra Catchment
  • Monbulk - Dandenong Catchment
  • Menzies - Yarra Catchment
  • Clematis - Dandenong Catchment
  • Cockatoo - Yarra Catchment
  • Shepherd - Yarra Catchment

 

Selected activities include;

  • Fencing
  • Removing rubbish
  • Replacing logs in streams
  • Assessing water (quality) habitat elements
  • Revegetation and building habitat

 

Revegetation

Revegetation activities along the corridor is complex and requires cooperation and alignment with the Puffing Billy  objectives.

This includes avoiding large trees near bridges and track infrastructure. The majority of revegetation works includes stepping stones of grasses and hedges and restoration of ferns. Some areas along the corridor do suffer from land slip and vegetation works will be utilised to help with these locations.

Fire management is high priority for Puffing Billy as sparks and embers can come from the steam engine which poses concerns in summer. Careful selection of suitable species will assist Puffing Billy management fire risk.

A very important element of the tourist experience along the Puffing Billy corridor is the unique and valuable biodiversity. Activities to help build biodiversity and habitat preservation include:

  • Collecting seed and cuttings
  • Assessing native species
  • Constructing wildlife passage
  • Assessing habitat condition
  • Installing artificial habitat features (e.g. nest boxes)
  • Ecological burning

 

Community Engagement

Over many years local community groups have been very active along the trackside protecting and enhancing the biodiversity. In order to implement a long term management plan it is critical these groups and other local community members are integrated in the activities and planning process.

Some of the community engagement programs include;

  • Preparing and distributing education material
  • Conducting community events
  • Preparing and distributing advertising materials
  • Training
  • Conduct awareness programs through special train trips concentrating on NRM

 

Project Partners

Thanks goes to the project partners;

  • Southern Ranges Environment Alliance
  • Puffing Billy
  • Yarra Ranges & Cardinia Councils
  • Melbourne Water
  • Parks Victoria
  • Adjoining Land Managers

Our Partners

Puffing Billy Green Tracks is proudly supported by and engaging with Puffing Billy, Yarra Ranges and Cardinia Council, Melbourne Water, Community Groups, Parks Victoria, DSE, local contractors and the general public including adjacent property owners.

Contact Green Tracks

Name: Glenn Brooks-MacMillan

Phone: 0428-427-004

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.GreenTracks.net.au

Joomla Template - by Joomlage.com