Pottery Hills Sites - Don’t Turn Your Back On Erica for Too long

Tuesday 7 July 2015

On the morning of this working bee there had been a few showers and although it was predicted to clear, it looked somewhat uncertain how long this would take. The Council supervisor thought it may be best to cancel. Whilst the working bee had been cancelled it is usually necessary to turn up at the starting spot to let anyone who turns up know. When I got to the end of Pottery there were 6 people waiting and by then it looked like the weather was going to be not too bad. We decided to walk to the sites and check them. Once there the temptation to pull some out was too much and this is what we did. I normally bring pliers to help get small weeds out and I had those with me. The weather was OK, with sun at times but also there were cloudy periods including one arriving to block the sun accompanied by a light shower just as were having lunch. At one of the sites checked there was a thick, but tightly contained, patch of fresh Erica and a working bee will be needed to clear it. IMG_1109 Erica regrowth
Typical of the Erica found at the sites
Three specific sites were checked and worked on

New Town Track

Spanish Heath bushes had developed thick trunks at base even though not tall and therefore were harder to remove than expected.  Others were quite multi-stemmed. The site was previously visited for follow up in 2010 and 2012 and at that time not very many plants were found, however this time quite a considerable number were present.

Breakneck Track Junction

Between July 2002 and May 2003 there were four sessions of primary work and over the years since then six follow up sessions have been done.  The number of fresh Erica has been quite low and this latest (seventh) found only about 12 plants and all fairly straggly. Several small one were also located on the trackside bank. Native vegetation is now quite dominant over the site which at the beginning had extensive patches covered in just Erica; so a very pleasing result

Main Fire Trail at top of McRobies Gully

Quite a number of seedlings some of which had grown to a substantial height some up to 1m, plus a number of small ones at track side.  All were removed, but the follow up, which is the first since 2008, was too long a gap and did allow these new plants to establish. The image below shows the sites worked on MainBreakNewTown

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