Talking about ecological drivers: An evening with Friends of the Great South West Walk near Mt Vandyke

The Friends of the Great South West Walk (FoGSWW) are currently hosting their annual supported walk, where a small group of about 15 hikers complete the full 250 km circuit – with a little bit of extra help (in terms of meals and equipment) provided along the way by long-term FoGSWW and NGT volunteer (and all round nice bloke) Gordon Page.

This year Tom Sheehan and I were happy to accept the invitation on behalf of NGT to catch up with the group as they wandered in to Fitzroy camp with their local FoGSWW host, Sarah Sharp, the last stopover from the Portland direction before the walk reaches the boundary of the new NGT reserve at Mount Vandyke.

The Friends of the Great South West Walk annual supported walk reaches Fitzroy camp. Photo: Mark Bachmann

This year there are people doing the walk from as near as Portland and Mt Gambier, and as far away as Adelaide, Melbourne, Gippsland and Brisbane. After some introductions, I ended up explaining a bit about NGT and our interest in the restoration of ecological drivers and processes, before talking in detail about the project at Mt Vandyke, our region’s forgotten mainland fauna, and how the site will play a role in the future conservation of some of our threatened species in the wider Cobboboonee landscape.

The next morning, the walkers were off the take in the view from Mt Vandyke, and they will be some of the last to be able to do so – as they are in the area just before we begin construction of the new feral predator exclusion fence.

By the way, if you’d like to learn a bit more about NGT’s interest in the restoration of ecological processes, then you might like to revisit this talk from a little while ago I gave to a national online seminar, hosted by Landcare Tasmania, to kick off the UN Decade on Ecological Restoration – which is below. The full seminar can be viewed here.

Mark Bachmann