20 Million Trees planting events complete at Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mt Burr Swamp

Over 8000 plants made their way into the ground recently after four days of planting by NGT staff and volunteers at two sites. Over 50 individuals were involved in the planting events at Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mount Burr Swamp Restoration Reserves. Seedlings were produced by NGT’s nursery, and included 27 species which were planted in a range of soil types from deep sand, to sand over clay and peat.

Our first 20 Million Trees planting days this year were held as a campout at Eaglehawk late last month (19-21 July). The preparation of evening meals was shared, with Nicole Mojonnier making a delicious spaghetti on day one, followed by the Haywood family roast on day two. Staff and volunteers alike thoroughly enjoyed these meals which were cooked over the roaring campfire. We also shared a BBQ lunch on the final day.

Planting crew keeping warm and relaxing around the campfire at Eaglehawk Waterhole – where would you rather be?!

Each morning, the day’s respective participants were given an explanation of the intended lay out of the planting area, and a demo of the desired planting technique. A range of equipment was used to plant the seedlings including hand trowels, shovels, and Pottiputkis (a tool which both creates the hole and places the plant in it while the user remains standing upright). Photos were taken at designated spots to help record the changes which will occur over time.

Some of the planting crew at Eaglehawk Waterhole

The final night at Eaglehawk featured an impromptu frog survey,  whereby a small group of us went out to listen and record which species were calling after dark in the shallow wetlands on the property. Four frog species were heard in two different wetlands: the Spotted Marsh Frog, Common Froglet, and both species of Spadefoot Toads (also known as Burrowing Frogs). Listen to the recording and see if you can pick the difference between the slow call of the Common Spadefoot compared to the more rapid trilling of Mallee Spadefoot Toad.

Then earlier this month (4th August), we held a community planting day at Mt Burr Swamp which, despite the rough forecast, was well-attended by a fantastic crew of staff and volunteers. The team managed to plant all of the ~2000 seedlings by lunch time, which was a barbecue held in the shearing shed. While lunch was being prepared, Mark provided some background to the property, its purchase, and our plans, to give volunteers a better understanding of our long-term visions for the site and how the days activities fit into the bigger picture.

Additional understorey species planting in the southern end of the site, next to Marshes Native Forest Reserve

The next steps at Mt Burr Swamp will be concentrating on both pest plant and animal species. Weed control spraying will occur during spring in preparation for the next round of direct seeding, and rabbit control will also be carried out.

Similarly at Eaglehawk Waterhole, we will be direct seeding again in spring, undertaking rabbit control including warren ripping in close proximity to the planted areas, and keeping an eye on rainfall to ensure we have adequate soil moisture coming into summer.

We’d like to say a big thank you again to all our wonderful volunteers who joined us at these events.

These projects are supported by Nature Glenelg Trust, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Planting of Red-tailed Black cockatoo Stringybark habitat on sandy higher ground

Bryan Haywood