Restoring swamps in the Merri catchment.
Hanna Swamp Discussion Paper: Analysing the gaps in policy and planning for wetlands within Melbourne’s urban growth areas
Part of Hanna Swamp lies in the Beveridge North West Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) area. The draft PSP is currently being considered by a Planning Panel, and Mark Bachmann from the Nature Glenelg Trust is advocating for the inclusion of the swamp in the PSP. The paper explores what has happened to the wetland, and why, and the risks for these wetlands as the overarching Victorian Government water policy converges with the development planning system.
The Nature Glenelg Trust as worked on many such projects in the South east of Australia.
The Friends are supporting the campaign for these swamps to be restored as centrepieces of the proposed Wallan Regional Park. A feasibility study is underway. This park will also contribute to the vision of a linked parkland, the length of the creek, from the headwaters at Heathcote Junction, to Dights Falls, Abbotsford.
The park would provide an wonderful resource for local communities as development spreads north.
Hanna Swamp: a forgotten Wallan Wallan wetland that highlights the challenges of ‘business as usual’ urban development
Here is some of the history of Hanna Swamp. Illustrated through contemporary and current maps, you can see how this feature has persisted over time, even though drained for agricultutural purposes. It flows into the eastern side of the much larger Herne Swamp. Reversing the drainage system will stop the flow of water through the system, and allow the swamp to restore.
“For a site like this in the agricultural landscape, a drained wetland is never really lost – just think of it as being in an artificially induced state of drought. Return the water by reversing drainage impacts, as Nature Glenelg Trust have now done at dozens of wetlands across Victoria, and both ecological values and hydrological function can be recovered and restored in very quick time.
This means, artificial or not, once the drought breaks, natural wetlands are very forgiving ecosystems, capable of supporting wetland plants that are especially adept at bouncing back (e.g. from seed, rhizomes or other propagules), as well as a wide range of animals recolonising all by themselves, once the water returns.”
Map: Sydney M3: Merriang. 1840. (Detail) Historic Plans Collection. Public Record Office Victoria
A new guide, plus videos on the fungi of Merri Creek.
This new guide by Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher explores the fungi of Merri Creek, explains their role and what you can do to help protect them and the bushland. There are excellent photographs for you to ID any fungi you come across – including weedy fungi. Dr McMullan-Fisher gave us a fascinating presentation at the 2019 annual general meeting, opening up the world of fungi and their role in plant life. The guide also steps you through the process of adding records to iNaturalist with tips for taking photographs that will best support your records.
Sapphire has also made a series of 5 videos to help you become familiar with the fungi of Merri Creek and where they grow:
Can I eat it?
Earthballs help plants grow
Green Staining Coral Fungi is having a good season
Outdoor events and Coronavirus. UPDATE 28 July
We are postponing all of our community events due to the coronavirus outbreak and in support of containment measures.
We do have guidelines and a dedicated FaceBook page for Covid-compliant community litter pickups.
Check out a compilation of our Weekly Weeds series, to help you identify weeds to pullout while walking on the shared path.
We’ve put bird posters up along the path, on our regular Merri Creek birds.
Please still visit Merri Creek, ride safely and enjoy!
Stay well everyone.
Thanks to all our volunteer bird survey leaders and spotters. Over 100 species were recorded at 36 sites. A highlight was a solitary Eastern whipbird, its usual habitat the wet forests of the eastern ranges, the shrubby understory of Merri Park providing a home away from home.
Our bird surverys are held quarterly, over 2 Sunday mornings – the next round is in May – keep an eye on our events calendar.
Thanks to Peter Mollison for this wonderful photograph of a male Red-rumped Parrot.
Bird survey report – 2019
Read about sightings along the catchments in new report.
The Merri Creek Management Committee has released their Flora and Fauna report for October 2018 to September 2019.
Sightings and observations from the Ecological Restoration Team, along with reports from the community help to build a picture of life along the creek catchment, both during a year – and over time. Along with the powerful owl, there have been swamp wallaby sightings and “hearings” of growling grass frogs. On the flora front, locally rare grassland species, propagated as part of the Secret Seven Seed project have been reintroduced and are doing well. Thankyou for your reports too, you are valuable extra eyes and ears!
Read more here.