Volunteers needed!

After countless hours of work, residents are making progress towards eradicating Needle Grasses (stipoid weeds) in Castlemaine. Some previously infested areas now appear to be free of them, and many other areas have less than half of the original infestation.

Needle Grasses are introduced weeds that do great harm to natural ecosystems (especially grasslands) and to agricultural land.  If you love nature, eat and wear clothes, this affects you.

As well as Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) – a Regionally Controlled noxious weed – 3 other Needle Grasses are in Castlemaine.  One of these, Cane Needle Grass (N. hyalina), is on a National Alert List of 28 Environmental Weeds.

There is an opportunity to help rid Castlemaine of these. Small working bees are held (mainly between October and March) to dig them out of roadsides, parks and a privately owned paddock.  If you volunteer to help, you will be shown how to identify them and to distinguish between different grasses.  Any amount of help, ranging from one hour to many, will be gratefully accepted.

The volunteer work complements paid work which was done with a Council Community Grant to Connecting Country during 2016-17.  FOBIF has applied for another Community Grant to continue this work in 2017-18. 

If you’d like to help, or would like more information, please phone Margaret on 5470 5072 between 7am and 7pm.

Dense infestation of mature Espartillo at the Pony Club in Castlemaine in 2014. Control work has now reduced the infestation to isolated seedlings.

You can find a good photo of Chilean Needle Grass  here and a good drawing and photo of Cane Needle Grass here.

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