The Pinkerton Link Story: creating a forest out of nothing!
Creating the forest begins: August 2011
On Saturday 13th August 2011 Western Water and Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group (PLEG) invited the community to join them planting between Pinkerton Forest & Bush's Paddock, near Mount Cottrell. This was in fact an invitation to participate in the beginning of an innovative project to grow a Grassy Woodland from scratch!
Entry to the site was made through Western Water's treatment plant at Surbiton Park via Butlers Road at Strathtulloh, to avoid disturbing a nesting pair of endangered Sea-Eagles.
On the Friday prior to the community planting day, holes were drilled by contractors and the eucalyptus mulch was spread around the remnant Grey Box trees.
Close to 30 people turned up and we planted almost 1,000 grasses, herbs and trees. Participants were from groups as varied as Melton Bushwalkers, Girl Guides and Scouts, as well as other interested members of the community. We also distributed the cleaned Austrostipa scabra (Speargrass) and Austrodanthonia (Wallaby Grass) seed in half of the scraped area in the centre of the paddock. And we are thrilled it has rained which will help to settle the plants in.
This ambitious and innovative project by Western Water aims to achieve nothing less than to replant a forest on a paddock that is at present virtually devoid of native vegetation!
Many of the plants for the Sludge Paddock Restoration Project were grown under the supervision of Judy Allen indigenous plant expert at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre Earlier this year PLEG and MEG supplied the centre with local indigenous seeds to grow wildflowers for sites in Melton and at Pinkerton Forest. Judy is a TAFE teacher at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre teaching a course in Horticulture. Judy spoke to local environmental groups in May at Melton Shire Council. The Centre has grown a number of plants for local revegetation, which are now ready for planting. Judy attended the planting day to report back on where their seedlings were planted.
Many thanks to Judy Allen and the women at the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre for helping us create a forest on this empty paddock. Many thanks to everyone who turned up on this historical occasion to begin the long process of planting a forest here.