Crag Care - Morialta Conservation Park

2015 Project Report

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Working bee 9 May 2015.
The Crag Care Project has had a new project partner join us this year. The project which was set up as a collaboration between the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta and the Climbing Club of South Australia (CCSA) has had the University of South Australia's Rock Climbing Club (UniSA RCC) also join us. With the new project partner we have also seen an influx of keen Crag Carers who have undergone the Trees for Life Bush Regeneration Training and are putting in some fantastic hours on the ground.

This year has seen the Climbers start to tackle the many clumps of Blackberry on the site. A number of smaller clumps have been removed from the entrance to the Far Crag area this year and we hope to extend that to encompass some of the blackberry at the base of the cliffs this summer. In addition we were able to borrow a couple of Tree Poppers this winter and we made great inroads into the Olives at the entrance to the park this winter. Our patch of one leaved Cape Tulip is reduced from last year but it will be a few years yet until we have it under control. It was again the focus of September's working bee when 10 bags of tulips were removed.

We are also excited to let you know that we have sighted two different families of the vulnerable Cunningham's Skink at the base of Far Crag already this Spring. One family was seen with two adults and 3 young whilst the other was seen with an adult and a youngster together. Orchids and lilies are currently blooming through the site and it is a joy to experience the difference the Crag Carers are making to the area.

The Morialta Crag Care site encompasses the three most popular crags in Morialta, Far Crag, Boulder Bridge and The Billiard Table.

Future plans involve continuation of the current work, and tackling the willows which are clogging the creek below the crag. These are discussed in further detail in the First Falls report.

Liz
Project Coordinator


2014 Project Report

A new project site which is a collaboration between the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta and the Climbing Club of South Australia commenced work in May 2014. For those of you not familiar with the word crag is defined in the dictionary as "a steep rugged mass of rock projecting upward or outward, especially a cliff or vertical rock exposure in the north of England or in Scotland". Given that climbing has a long tradition in Britain it comes as little surprise that in the English speaking rock climbing world the word crag refers to "a cliff or group of cliffs, in any location, which is or may be suitable for climbing".
Photos from Working bee 11 May 2014

The Morialta Crag Care site encompasses the three most popular crags in Morialta, Far Crag, Boulder Bridge and The Billiard Table.

Climbers have been working to reduce the feral weeds at this popular climbing area near the top of the Fourth Creek catchment. Every two months, a few climbers (and at times their families) have been spending a couple of hours working in the high quality bushland above the cliffs poisoning or removing Broome, Olive, Dog-Rose and One-leafed Cape Tulip. A team of four (two drillers, two fillers) have also been working below the cliffs to kill Olives, which have had a history of frequent cutting, leaving them badly coppiced and difficult to treat. Over the 3 working bee's that we have had, we have seen the deaths of a number of Olives below the cliffs, leaving the area at the western edge of the project site known as The Billiard Table with far fewer Olives at its base. There has also been an improvement in the quality of the vegetation on the walk into the cliffs from the road. As the cliffs are close to the top of the catchment, any weed reductions here should see a reduction of seed downstream, and benefits for the whole park.

Photos from Working bee 13 July 2014

Future plans involve continuation of the current work, and tackling small Blackberry sites above the cliffs and starting on the edges of the large Blackberry infestations at the base of Far Crag. Far Crag is the Eastern most site of the project and has very high quality bush at the top of the cliffs, degrading to a huge infestation of blackberry at the bottom of the cliff. It is home to one of the few known families of Cunningham Skinks who live in Morialta.

Photos from Working bee 9 November 2014

Liz
Project Coordinator


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Updated 28 December 2015
New photos!