Caring for her local reserve

By Ash Mahoney

Caring for her local reserve – Ash Mahoney

Besides being an active member with APS Southern Tablelands group, Ash is also a Crown Land Manager of Alison Hone Reserve along with four other APS members. We are also members of Goulburn Field Naturalists Society and when this group was approached to take over, we agreed rather than let the area fall into disrepair.

Expanses of the weed, Serrated Tussock, image Ash Mahoney

We had no funding in our first year and whilst we waited to hear whether our funding for the following year would be approved, I went along each Wednesday morning and chipped Nassella trichotoma, better known as Serrated Tussock, from the reserve.

Lobelia gibbosa, Ash Mahoney

As we were in drought, I didn’t have to worry about seed production. I would chip and replace the plant on the bare earth to cover it up so another weed wouldn’t appear there. I used the Bradley method, weeding from the best areas to the worst and was able to isolate the worst patches for when the funding came through for weed eradication.

I also set myself a target to record every species of flora and fauna that I could. Of course, this is still ongoing but we have greatly increased our plant list this year with the good rains we had in spring.

To date, we have recorded 183 species, 36 of which are weeds. I have also sighted and photographed 18 terrestrial orchids on the site.

Alison Hone Reserve was dedicated in the early 1980’s after Alison discovered Calochilus imberbis flowering there. Unfortunately, not even the great season we have just had revealed this orchid on site, but I live in hope.