Sunday 13 November: Twenty-one neighbours and community members came together to take part in something special – creation of a wildlife corridor which will reconnect Mt Gravatt Reserve with Mimosa Creek and Roly Chapman Reserve. The majority of Fox Gully is private property – the backyards of individual house blocks – so removing weeds and restoring the wildlife corridor requires the co-operation of thirty-seven separate property owners.

A critical step in the restoration was the removal a massive Indian Rubber Tree Ficus elastica in September – 5 men working solidly for 2 days – a huge job generously paid for by one of our Arafura Street neighbours. On advice from Prof Carla Catterall, Griffith University, we arranged for the contractors to leave the large stump for wildlife habitat. The contractor also placed logs on the slope and left two large piles of mulch.

Marshal and I chainsawed the remaining Yellow Oleandia Cascabela thevetia in advance to reduce risk of accidents when we had a large number of people on-site. Logs from the Yellow Oleandia were to be used on the slope to improve access for weeding/planting and to retain mulch and stop erosion.

Madeira Vine Anredera cordifolia  was the next challenge. Also called Potato Vine, this aggressive invader produces thousands of small aerial tubers which can remain viable on the vine or on the ground for five to ten years. Each tuber can send out multiple roots to produce a new vine that can grow at more than one metre per week, rapidly smothering other vegetation. As with many weeds, Madeira Vine is an attractive flowering vine originally introduced from South America as a garden plant. Because of the massive infestation of this weed I decided that the Arafura Street side of the site should not be planted immediately with the focus being eradication of this pest that will out grow any new planting.

The Madeira infestation was so bad that Roger was simply shoveling the tubers into tubs for removal. Even with that work on the Gully Day, Don and I  still removed a full wheelie bin of tubers as we worked on the slope placing logs and mulch. Now that we are getting this major infestation under control we can work with neighbours up and down the gully to eradicate Madeira from the wildlife corridor.

On the day the team removed six cubic metres of rubbish and green waste, an extraordinary achievement when you consider that everything had to be carried up out of the gully to the rubbish skip in O’Grady Street.

Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus

They certainly earned a break for morning tea and an opportunity to meet some of the world’s only flying mammals – a really cute Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus, a juvenile Black Flying-fox Pteropus alecto and a tiny micro-batLittle Broad-nosed Bat Scotophilus greyi. Jenny and Denise, wildlife carers with Bat Conservation & Rescue Qld, joined us to introduce these cute creatures first hand, dispel some media-myths about Flying-foxes and share ideas on how we can protect and encourage these valuable pollinators and insect catchers. One simple thing we can do is encourage the use of wildlife-excluding HailGuard which protects fruit and vegetables without endangering bats, birds and possums that can get tangled in other netting.

Grey-headed Flying-foxes are found in Mt Gravatt Reserve and BAAM researchers have identified three species of micro-bat in the Reserve.

Little Broad-nosed Bat Scotophilus greyi – insect catching micro-bat

Removal of the Indian Rubber Tree will hopefully restore the permanent spring and provide a water source to attract these micro-mozzie catchers back to the gully as well as promoting the frog population.

Since the Gully Day we have planted one hundred and forty plants and placed logs (recycled weed trees) on the steep slope and mulch is being spread. The event has also created a long term change in relations between neighbours and how neighbours relate to the gully … it is wonderful to see city kids exploring.

Special thanks to Jenny and Denise, Phil Reeves (who personally paid for the rubbish skip) and helpers Barry Williams – Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, Peter Stirk – Vultures Football Club and Natalie Petersen – ALP candidate for Wishart Ward.

Planting Day – Sunday 31 October – 8am to 12noon

Please join us in the next stage of restoration – Zone 14 Stage 2 replanting.

Habitat created by our restoration work is already home to Noisy Minors and Imperial Hairstreak butterflies. Clearing weeds is also bringing Koalas back to the gully.

On Sunday 31, over 400 grasses, vines and trees indigenous to Mt Gravatt Reserve, will be planted in the second stage of Zone 14 restoration: near the water reservoir at the top of Azania Street.

Even if you only have half an hour come and put in your plant.

Noisy Minor Nest – Zone 7: Sept 2010

Where – access site via:

46 O’Grady Street, Upper Mt Gravatt

Wear protective footwear and sun protection. Morning tea, plants and equipment provided.

Information:      Mike Fox – 0408 769 404

The results of our work with Fox Gully Bushcare have been recognised with two awards at the Australia Day Awards Breakfast hosted by the Southside Sport & Community Club.

Councilor Krista Adams, BCC Wishart Ward, presented me with Community Australia Day Award in recognition to continued commitment to the envirionment.

Phil Reeves MP, State Member for Mansfield, presented an award to recognise that Fox Gully Bushcare was  Finalist for the 2010 Community Group of the Year.  Jude, my wife and inspiration, and myself with Phil Reeves. Thank you to Heather Barnes, Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Commitee, for nominating our group for the award.

Welcome to Fox Gully Bushcare a small, 2 hectares, but important part of the 66 hectare Mt Gravatt Reserve  Mt Gravatt Reserve is a unique island of Queensland bushland ten minutes from Brisbane CBD and home to Koalas, Echidnas, twenty seven different types of butterfly and dozens of birds.

The aim of the Fox Gully Bushcare Blog is to celebrate the extraordinary beauty of this island of bush in the middle of suburbia and build community commitment to  the protection and restoration of this valuable resource.

My objectives include:

  • education:
    • about the diversity of native plants and animals living right beside us; and
    • the damage caused by weeds spreading from our own gardens.
  • building a community:
    • where the bushland is valued and used; and
    • individuals believe they can make a difference. We often don’t take action because “It is all too big.”, “All to complicated.” or “That’s The Government’s job.”
  • continuous learning:
    • publishing my latest photos and research for The Flora and Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve – Sue Jones and Michael Fox, a CD compilation of the diverse species, 243 native plant species, found in the Reserve; and
    • allowing my research to be challenged, corrected or enhanced.

Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve is a dynamic learning tool for the authors, which means mistakes in identification and other information will occur from time to time. As these mistakes are challenged our knowledge is expanded and corrections are included in this expanding record of information about our local flora and fauna.

All photographs have been taken in Mt Gravatt Reserve by the authors.

Michael Fox- Fox Gully Bushcare Co-ordinator