Horsnell Gully Project Site

Report for Horsnell Gully 2019

We continue to work two project areas in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. Complementing the works of the Friends have been significant funds through the NRM Volunteer Support Officer to employ contractors for supplementary weed control. Ornithogalum will need ongoing control work as there is significant infestation in the nearby Giles Conservation Park and also on private landholders properties.

The Deptarment of Environment and Water (DEW) have recently repaired the picnic tables and brushcut around the entrance and carpark.

We are seeking a project coordinator to better manage and priorities the works being undertaken in across the project site

Watsonia in the creekline project are has been treated by contractors and should now be controlled with the excpetion of a few seedlings which volunteers should be able to manage. The focus will now be on Arum Lillies when they appear this year.

The Rockdale Hill project area is the grassy woodland site. Ornithogalum is the number one priority in this area. Progress has been made in reducing the numbers of flowering plants, but there are still many new plants germinating.

A Landcare grant enabled us to employ contrators in this area to significantly reduce the flower heads and therefor seed set. A new strategy was adopted to remove flower heads along the walking tracks to assist in reducing the further spread of plants. It has been noted that viable seed will be produced on flower heads that have been picked and discarded along the walking tracks.

Deer have been recorded by our Wildlife camera located in the park.

Lots of follow up work is needed on broom seedlings, following the initial treatment of mature plants. There are also olive seedlings that need to be treated.

We have proposed to Pembroke school that in 2020 we work with students in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park to consolidate the work that has been done to date.

The DEW trails officer has indicated that some funds are available to work on the bad section of the trail that is overun with blackberry.

While the Volunteer Support Officer has indicated there will be some funds available for woody weed control this year, we are uncertain of future funding arrangements due to the uncertainty created around the abolition of the NRM boards.

Volunteers Contributed 145 hours of Voluntary work in the park in 2019, bringing the total recorded volunteer time to 4,976 hours since the project started in 1992.

Map showing project sites and associated works.

Cropped image of wildlife camera photo.29 May 2019.

Map showing proposed track work 2020 by DEW Trails Officer.

Report for Horsnell Gully 2018

There are now two project areas in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park.
  1. Along the Creek near the entrance - the original area
  2. Up Rockdale Hill Track - A bluegum grassy woodland area.

Along the Creek - the original project site

Blackberry has now been cleared along the track and creekline and we have now reached the traditional end of the project site.

Rated as Vulnerable in the Mount Lofty Ranges, the Mount Lofty Phebalium (Hillebrands waxflower) Leionema hillebrandii (prev: Phebalium hillebrandii) has spontaneously regrown and flowered in the area cleared of blackberry!

Just ourside the project site is a trial on Blackberry control using the native parasitic plant Cassytha pubescens.
This trial is being conducted by Dr. Robert Cirocco of the University of Adelaide. Our member, Grace is also helping with the trial. See our Youtube video of Dr Cirocco explaining the trial.

Mount Lofty Phebalium (Hillebrands waxflower) Leionema hillebrandii

Up Rockdale Hill Track - A bluegum grassy woodland area

Work has been done this year basal bark spraying olives as recommended by one the threatened species ecologists. The area under management has increased significantly over the last few years.

Work continues on removing broom seedlings following the Green Army work conducted in this site.

Extensive work has been done on controlling Ornithogalum in the site. Adelaide Rotaract visited the site and the creek line area in October and provided voluntary assistance removing the Ornithogalum. They removed so many flowering bulbs it filled three large (and very heavy) bags that needed to be lugged down the hill individually.

Kangaroo grass is recovering in the area, along with other native grasses. Sun orchids and Onion orchids flowered in the site this year.

This site has been transformed in the last few years.

Sun orchids are reclaiming their space in the area cleared of Ornithogalum.

Adelaide Rotaract helping us remove Ornithogalum bulbs and flowers.

Ornithogalum work

A 2018 Landcare Grant enabled work to be done controlling Ornithogalum across our three parks. $5000 of which were spent in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. Priority is being given to high quality habitat areas.

Watsonia Control

Friends of Black Hill and Morialta have funded contractors using Volunteer Support funds made available through the Natural Resource Managment (NRM) to work in the park controlling Watsonia in 2016 and 2017. Large infestations have been reduced to small areas of individual plants too immature to flower.

In 2018 a successful NRM grant application allowed the work to continue in Horsnell Gully and Morialta. All know watsonia areas have now been treated twice. Follow up work is still required to prevent any immature plants from flowering and seeding and taking hold once more.

Blackberry Control

NRM volunteer support funds were used to commence primary control on blackberry below the waterfall area. This complements and extends work funded by the Department of Environment and Water in 2017.

288 Volunteer Hours were contributed to Horsnell Gully Conservation Park in 2018.

Contractors working on the Watsonia in the creek lines.

2017 Volunteer Hours: 186

2016 Volunteer Hours: 280

2015 Volunteer Hours: 300

2014 Volunteer Hours: 188

Report for Horsnell Gully 2013

The year has seen our dedicated bunch of people continue to work in our patch to remove the ever present weeds and to grow and plant some native species. Seasonally, we cut and swab for hawthorn, blackberry, olive and elm, and hand pull broom and tangier pea in the continual task of controlling these pests from our patch.

In October 2012, we attacked the chincherinchee on Rockdale Hill with Pembroke and Beaumont Scouts. The contingent of 20 plus workers deheading flowers, was a great effort to reduce the seed source. Our regular workers returned in July and October 2013 to maintain our fight with this aggressive garden escape.

We continue to spray and slash our main patch, focussing on blackberry, watsonia and vinca.

We continue to weed the Hakea carinata bushes that were planted to help the yellow tailed black cockatoos have a seed source, and are pleased to report that the majority of this planting are surviving, despite the weather.

Caroline and Dennis Slade managed to grow another box of seeds collected from our area and they were planted in June and September.

Altogether a total of 205 hours of work has been provided this year in both patches.

Well done to all our willing workers who have helped all year to pull, spray and whippersnip our patch. We always enjoy the company of other FOBHM members who join us on occasions and this year Reg Clarke and Ray White have joined us along with Alex, a Venturer Scout from Beaumont, who is working towards his World Environment Badge as part of his Queens Scout Award.

Thanks to John, Russell, Caroline, Dennis, Bruce and Joy who all share the load of collecting gear and coordinating the project.

As usual the end of year ended with a picnic under the old walnut tree, on the last day to celebrate another year of fantastic work.

On behalf of the committee

Project Report 2012

We continue to try and reduce all the weeds in our area, even though at times it seems a long haul. Never the less we can see the progress we have made over the years and this keeps us all inspired. This year we have worked with a focus on a specific weed / group of weeds each month.

Caroline and Dennis provided about a dozen Bursaria spinosa plants to extend our area and thanks go to them for that. Campbelltown Landcare supplied 3 Eucalypts to fill a hole where a large elm crashed down. The Pembroke Scouts helped us plant 50 Hakea carinata bushes that were provided as part of the Yellowtail Black Cockatoo feeding project and we thank Luke Price for supplying us with the plants. We look forward to the Scouts return to help nurture this planting. We were visited by rangers Coral and Jess during our working bees. A welcome sight!

Tony Ryan in his 5PBA Parks interviews provided an opportunity for us to share our knowledge of the area and its history. We hope our passion for the environment and in particular Horsnell Gully, will be captured by any listeners in future broadcasts.

Altogether some 180 hours of work has been provided this year in our main area. In addition this year, a new project on the hillside, either side of Rockdale Track above the Quarry was undertaken by Dennis and Caroline.

On the hillside above the quarry is a large stand of Themeda triandra and on the topside of the track in amongst the Eucalyptus trees-- Themeda, Danthonia, Astroloma humifusum and other natives are deserving of protection from invading weeds. Dennis and Caroline have had various visits this year to this 'special patch'. Weeds worked on have been small olives, Montpellier broom, plantago sp. and an invasion of Orithogaolum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem) a bulb from South Africa. This bulb produces copious amounts of seed, which can easily be spread by walkers and on wheels of bikes. Various bushcare methods have been used to stem this infestation and reduce the flowers reaching maturation. Thank you Friends of Black Hill and Morialta for support in this venture. This is a worthwhile start in a 'special patch' in Horsnell Gully Conservation Park with an additional 36 hours worked.

Well done to all our willing workers who have helped all year to pull weeds, spray weeds and whippersnip our patch. We always enjoy the company of other FOBHM members who join us on occasions.

Thanks to John, Russell, Caroline, Dennis, Bruce and Joy who all share the load of collecting gear and coordinating the project.

Bruce On behalf of the Committee

Project Report 2011

Another year and great rain. What a difference it makes to our site!

Our small band of dedicated regulars have worked consistently again during the year and various people have collected the tools and kept up the weeding when others have been away.

Thanks to John, Russell, Caroline, Dennis, Bruce and Joy who all share the load. The weeding, pulling , spraying, whippersnipping tasks all get tackled during the year and it is obvious now that the blackberry has been reduced! After all these years there is great regeneration on the Rockdale Hill corner and now progress is being made in cutting back towards the creek.

Caroline and Dennis again provided some 60 or so plants to extend our area and thanks go to them for that. Altogether some 123 hours of work has been provided this year showing just what persistence can bring.

Thanks to other FOBHM members who have joined us on Saturday afternoon working bees. Your help is appreciated and Horsnell Gully benefits from your efforts.

Project Coordinator - Bruce

Project Report 2010

Rain! What a difference it has made this y ear - to both endemic plants AND weeds!. "Blackberry Corner has thrived!" (corner of Rockdale Track and Main Track) The good news is that the blackberry patch has almost been eradicated - only the regrowth left!

We continue to push back on the periphery towards the creek and up the main valley remov ing blackberry, broom, olive, hawthorn, ash, periwinkle, arum lily and watsonia. The regeneration of eucaly pts has been wondrous to behold along with other understory plants (Spyridium parvifolium, Clematis microphylla, Convolvulus erubescens), supplemented by seedlings grown by our members the Slades, Colin Sparrow and the late Lola Both. 65 plants of some 13 species were planted in May .

Due to expectations made by the Department of Environment on Project Coordinators, Horsnell Gully currently has no formal coordinator but the FOBHM team works together to ensure monthly working bees continue. A site meeting with the Rangers and FOBHM representatives earlier in the year took place to discuss future signage and track routes. The Department of Env ironment continue to ensure slashing of the picnic area and entrance road is regularly done.

The Horsnell Gully project originally commenced in 1992 as an initiative of the Pembroke Scout Group in conjunction with the Friends group, and has been continually supported since then by the scouts and cubs. Due to changes in leadership, 2010 is the first y ear that the Scout Group has not participated in the park. However, despite February and August working bees being cancelled, we still have seen some new supporters from the public, Garth and Liz and Meike as well as familiar faces of FOBHM members Reg, Jill, Claire, John, Russell, Carolyn, Dennis, Joy and Bruce.

Thanks to all for y our ongoing per sistence on a continuing worthwhile project area.

Bruce, on behalf of the committee.

Project Report 2009

Young Spryridium
Spyridium parvifolium regenerating

During 2009 we spent some 242 hours continuing to maintain the Nature Track. Our main areas of work were at the beginning of the track around the carpark, around the old dairy and amongst the blackberry infestated Rockdale Corner. In these places we continued the never ending task of weeding and stopping exotic regrowth as well as planting new species.

During the growing season, we planted approximately 100 plants to help diversify our regenerated areas. Special thanks must again go to Caroline and Dennis for growing these for us from seed collected by them within the park. Their support in supervising the project when Joy and Bruce are travelling is also greatly appreciated.

The main work gang of Carline and Dennis, Joy, Bruce and Lee, John and Russell has been consistent and thanks go to them all for their persistent untiring efforts.

Several times during the year we were assisted in our work by the Pembroke Clubs and this has been greatly appreciated. Continued interest shown by these enthusiastic young people encourages us to keep on with the task.

It has been exciting to observe the natural regeneration in our patch, increasing the biodiversity present. Species such as Sennecio, Clematis and Spyridium parvifoium are appearing.

Joy and Bruce have recently made contact with Clive Horsnell, a great grandson of John Horsnell. Whilst he does not remember ever having visited the old house, he for many years worked one of John Hosrnell's original properties at Basket Range. He retold many wonderful stories of market gardening in the Adelaide Hills. Clive currently lives at Mt Pleasant and maintains his interest in local produce through the Angaston Farmers Market.

Although we are only caring for a small area of the Horsnell Gully Conservation Park, we can see the difference that has been made over the last 17 years! Without this dedication the weeds would have taken over!

Thanks all for another great year of work.

Project Coordinator - Bruce

Project Report 2008

This year we spent some 238 hours with our small regular group continuing to maintain the Nature Track at Horsnell Gully. The never ending control of weeds amongst our plantings is our main task.

During the year, despite it being a poor growing season, we planted 106 plants in total. Dennis and Caroline provided Bursaria spinosa, Dodenaea viscosa ssp. spatulata, Leptospermum continentale, Cyperus vaginatus and Dichopogon strictus (Chocolate lily) whilst Graham provided Myoporum viscosa, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, native scurf pea and yakkas.

The regular assistance of Pembroke Cubs once a term has been greatly appreciated. They enthusiastically tackled the plantings along the entry creekline on a wet day and have returned to weed around their plants as well as hand pulling broom along the Nature Track.

It is good to see the occasional helpers lend a hand when available and our regular crew of Caroline and Dennis, Joy and Leeand John has been supplemented by visits from our Rangers on duty, when they have time. Thanks Carol, Chris and Eric!

Although we are only tackling a small area we can see the difference! Thanks all.

Project Coordinator - Bruce

Project Report 2007

Grass 2007
One of the revegetation areas
Cleared of Blackberry

The Horsnell Gully Project has continued from strength to strength this year with the addition of several new regular members attending our Saturday working bees. At times we have had as many as 9 volunteers working on our area!

Altogether this year we have put in some 188 hours of effort and planted another 130 endemic plants.

Thanks go especially to the co coordinators of the group Caroline and Dennis for collecting and propagating the plant stocks and for being there when we take off on our travels. Our regeneration areas which have been expanded this year are now very obvious to the public walking in the Park and we regularly receive acknowledgement of the work we are doing from passing walkers.

We also thank John Fleming, our President for his support over the year and to Elaine or providing 2 unused microscopes to the Young Friends. We welcome our new support Ranger, Chris and look forward to working with him in the future.

Thank you all for your efforts during 2007. We feel we are making a difference for all Park users!

Bruce and Joy - Project Coordinators

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Project Report 2006

Working on the track
Working on the track
December 2007

The team made progress during the year with more clearing at the Rockdale Track section and along the park creek entry. The planting of Themeda has been a successful first attempt with grasses. All this thanks to Carolyn and Dennis who propagate our plants and look after the project while Joy and I are travelling.

The team also acknowledge the support from Ranger Eric from DEH in keeping the park clean and tidy and a pleasant place to visit.

A lot of work by our band of happy volunteers continues to be mundane, but important, with the thrust of weed control throughout the year. Dennis routinely works on Watsonia with obvious improvement. Thanks Carolyn, Dennis, Claire, Elspeth, Joy and Lee and the Pembroke Scouts for your continued support. Altogether some 200 hours of work, 120+ plants have been provided to this area this year, making it far more attractive for the general public.

Bruce - Project Coordinator

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Project Report 2005

Rockdale Track
The planted area at the Rockdale Track
Another year passes and more inroads have been made in the patch of blackberries on the Rockdale Corner. This year has seen more clearing of the area and planting of some 150 seedlings in our attempt to restore the area. Thanks to Lola who helped us identify plants in our park and Dennis and Carolyn who have collected the seed and propagated it for us.

We also acknowledge the support from Eric in getting a work crew from Correctional Services to attack the elms, broom and blackberry along the creek entry to the park and this has made a terrific improvement to the parks appearance. It is hoped that at planting time next year we will be able to revegetate this area and so extend our project area.

Creek Entry
The cleared out creek entry

Once again our band of happy volunteers continues to work patiently at the mundane, but vitally important task of weed control throughout the year. Thanks Claire, Elaine, Dennis, Carolyn, Joy and Lee and the Pembroke Scouts for your continued support. Altogether some 213 hours of work, 150 plants and 300 pamphlets have been provided to the area this year making it far more attractive for the general public.

Bruce - Project Coordinator

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Project Report 2004

Working bee 20 May 2006
Working bee 20 May 2006
The year has see quite a change in our work area! With Bruce and Joy returning and now retired and spending more time in the park and with the great propagating skills of Dennis and Carolyn we have managed to clear substantial areas of blackberries on the Rockdale Hull corner and remove exotics from the side of the track.

This has let us plant and protect some 266 new trees and shrubs, all of which have been grown from seed collected within the park. The use of plant guards was necessary due to an increased rabbit population which in the early stages decided that the new trees were tasty!

Altogether with the help of our regular volunteers Dennis, Carolyn, Lee, Claire and Elaine as well as the periodic visit from some Pembroke Scouts and parents we managed to put in a total of 283 hours of voluntary work during the year. The comments from walkers within the park make it all seem worthwhile!

Working bee 11 December 2004
Inspecting site
11 December 2004

We also acknowledge the great support for Horsnell Gully from Parks staff, due mainly to our new Ranger, Eric. He has made sure that the picnic area has been slashed regularly, located a box of pamphlets that are put our for the public, erected a new "no bikes" sign at the entrance to the walking track, coordinated a bandicoot survey, provided a Correctional Services work team to revegetate the old Rockdale Hill Ridge track that has now been closed due to mountain bike damage and released a biological control to help remove the bridal creeper.

Once again thanks to all who have come and helped during the year and especially Dennis and Carolyn for making us feel that we are actually making a difference with all the trees we had available for planting.

Bruce - Project Coordinator

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Project Report 2003

Marianthus bignoniaceus, The Orange Bell Creeper
Marianthus bignoniaceus
The Orange Bell Creeper

In 2003, Joy and Bruce took a year off, (as coordinators) to go travelling around Australia and so we (Dennis and Carolyn) agreed to take on the task of coordinating the Working Bees for Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. Now at the end of the year, we appreciate how hard many people have worked over the years in helping to restore the natural native vegetation and what a daunting task it must have been in the beginning. However we have enjoyed our year and are pleased to report that our efforts and the consistent efforts of the few dedicated helpers, have made a difference.

Many thanks to Claire and Kate, for their regular attendance at working bees.

The Monthly Working Bees were mainly used to assist in stopping the spread of woody weeds, such as olives, broom, blackberry etc. and these have been kept under control in designated areas along the Nature and walking tracks, the car park and the hill behind the dairy ruins.

Seed was collected at the end of last year and this year 60 seedlings were propagated and planted in July, to extend last year's plantings, adjacent to the dairy ruins and at various spots along the Nature and walking tracks. The plants, Acacia paradoxa, Acacia rupicola, Dodoneae revoluta and Leptospermum sp are all doing well.

About 30 seedlings, Hakea (2 species) and Bursaria spinosa were seeded in August and are doing well and will be planted this year.

We are looking forward to the removal of olives as planned by Parks, which will be an extra incentive to continue efforts to stop flowering and spread of major weeds. Then to aid the revegetation process more seedlings need to be propagated from the local species.

Dennis and Carolyn - Project Co-ordinators

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Project Report 2002

6 April 2002
Looking from the carpark
6 April 2002

This year has seen continued progress in the area with main developments on the car park hill, the dairy area and further clearing of the hill above the dairy, as well as some work maintaining the edges of the Nature Track.

The progress has been helped significantly by Carolyn and Dennis who collected seed in December and then propagated some 80 plants. These were placed in the ground around the dairy and up the hill above it during July. To date, despite the rabbits having a nibble at them, some 68 have still survived. This is the first time for a number of years that replanting has taken place and we have been encouraged by our efforts.

Some clearing of broom and blackberries has occurred around the edges of the Nature Track in an effort to keep the track accessible and pleasant but much more work needs to be done.

It is exciting when clearly blackberries at the southern end to find native species still surviving amongst the invading weeds!

The dairy area as been cleared and cut using our whipper snipper on a regular basis and this has opened up the area. The viewing of heritage buildings from the picnic area has been greatly enhanced by this work.

All the work has been made possible by the regular attendance of Caroline, Dennis, Claire, Bruce and Joy and with much appreciated support from the Pembroke Scouts and a visit by some members of the Bahai Community, Campbelltown. Thank you all.

All told over the year, some 164 hours of voluntary labour has been supplied to this area with an average of 6 regulars for each working bee. Of course, the days when more attend a larger progression is seen than on the days when only 2 or 3 arrive, but we are still appreciative of any help we get. We feel that we are still continuing to make a difference to the area and enhancing it for the general public to enjoy a tranquil park setting close to the city.

Bruce - Project Coordinator.

Visit the Horsnell Gully page for photos and more information about this park.

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Project report 2001

New sign February 2001
New Interpretive Signs
February 2001
The small group that works in Horsnell Gully has concentrated this year on maintaining the car park and dairy area. To this end much progress has been made as most of the working bees have concentrated on this area. It has been pleasing to see, once again the involvement, on a couple of occasions of the Pembroke Scout Troop who worked on cutting and swabbing olives at the top of this area. This has resulted in containing and thinning out the growth in this area.

Approximately 111 hours of work has been seen during the last 12 months and the area above the picnic ground has been cleared of fresh blackberry growth. It is now at the stage where we can cut and swab it to remove it entirely. The area is certainly looking better for the attention it has received. Thanks go to the Stewart family, Claire and the Pembroke Scouts for all their efforts in 2001.

Bruce Stewart - Project Coordinator

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Project report 2000

Working in the elm forest, 17 July 1999
Working in the elm forest
17 July 1999
The work at Horsnell Gully this year has mainly been concentrated around the car park and dairy and has consisted of continuous weeding to keep the areas clean and tidy as well as the ever present tasks of exotic removal/containment and controlling the blackberries. Some removal of broom in the Southern end of the Nature Trail was also undertaken.

The summer season saw more helpers with the tasks but as the winter days rolled in, it was left to the Stewart's and Claire to keep the project on task. A pleasing aspect at the end of the year has seen the reinvolvement of the Pembroke Scouts who have been encouraged by Lee who has taken up a role there as an Assistant Scout Leader. We anticipate that this will again continue next year. Over the year we have achieved some 90 hours of service over the 9 working bees and I thank the 12 or so helpers who have been able to attend. The area is certainly showing signs that you have been working and caring for the area.

On a sad note, this year saw the passing of the founder and driving force of this project area, John Mugford. He was an inspiration for what could be achieved by a small volunteer force who regularly work in a park for a limited time and we thank him for his vision and energy over the years. John's illness did not allow him to spend as much time as he would have liked in the park during the past year but his optimism and love for the area was still evident, especially when he asked me at our last meeting "to rev up" the people on the helping list. Our condolences to Julie, Alex and the Mugford family on their sad loss of John. He will always be remembered every time we work in Horsnell Gully.

Thanks to all our helpers who come along and help keep the area usable by the public and give the impression that the park is being cared for. The trees above the car park that we planted a year ago are beginning to grow and now can be clearly seen above the weeds. May the area continue to be made more pleasant by the removal of the weeds and exotics and I encourage all members to come for a stroll in this beautiful park.

Bruce - Project Coordinator

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Project report 1999

Track from the picnic area, 20 February 1999
Track from the picnic area
20 February 1999
This is the first full year that I have acted as Project Coordinator of this area having worked in conjunction with John Mugford for the last seven years. Previously the Pembroke Scouts have also worked on the area as a Service project but with John no longer their leader this has not come to fruition in 1999. It is hoped that they will once again follow up on this area in 2000 when they gain a new leader and they will be approached at the start of the year with this in mind.

This has primarily left Joy and I as the only regular members working in the area, with occasional help from Claire and more recently two new volunteers. As a result of this we have concentrated on removing weeds on the slope above the car park and replanting this bank. Approximately 80 plants have been placed in this area and maintained to ensure they have a fighting chance to survive the summer.

Some clearing of elms and blackberries has also been attempted along the eastern side of the nature track and removal of broom at the post 7 viewing point to allow the ant hill to be seen from the main track. Some light spraying of the weeds around the old dairy has also been undertaken to try to restrict growth in that area. The Rangers have erected a new sign board at the entrance to the park detailing the history of the area and replaced the old bridge with a new permapine structure,thus enhancing visitors enjoyment of the picnic area. The information contained on the signage is first rate and they are to be congratulated for their research about the area. With their constant mowing in the picnic ground it really is becoming a very pleasant place to visit.

Bruce - Project Coordinator

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Project report 1998

Surveying the plants, 17 July 1999
Surveying the plants
17 July 1999
The Horsnell Gully Project first began in 1993 and is run in conjuction with the Pembroke Scouts as a service project under the direction of John Mugford. At the beginning of the year the work concentrated on completing the placement of numbered posts indicating points of interest on the short walking trail. Further work was also done on maintaining the trail and keeping the blackberries under control.

The latter part of the year was spent clearing the carpark, picnic and dairy areas of imported exotics, blackberries and controlling the spread of the cork elms. The major working bee of the Friends group helped weed the trees we planted several years ago.

We thank the DEHAA staff for the continual spraying of the weeds, mowing the grass and for ever removing the heaps of rubbish we leave behind in our efforts to clean the area.

Although the numbers attending the working sessions has decreased over the year, we can still see the product of our labours. The area is certainly tidier and more attractive than is was at the start of the year.

Bruce - Acting Coordinator for John Mugford.

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Project report 1997

Cork Elm, Olive and Blackberry removal
Joy, Ann and Claire
Cork Elm, Olive and Blackberry removal
Our band of volunteers has been working monthly on the maintenance of the two tracks from the car park and containing the Cork Elms. A brush cutter has been regularly used to clear the encroaching Blackberries and Broom along he Rockdale and Main Velley tracks. Constant work behind the Cork Elms has been to limit their spread around the Park. Originally their were 7 trees planted, now they are huge and the forest surrounding them, and spreading up the hillside requires a lot of work. A path hidden by this undergrowth has been found and is partly cleared at the western boundary of the elms. Several times the process has been assisted by a chain saw.

Visitors to the Park have often spoken about their enjoyment of the facility and they speak of their appreciation of the brochures prepared by the group. The supply of brochures is irregular however and we need to improve this. One member recently overheard a park user complain about the cutting down of trees and the noise heard on Saturday. You cannot please everyone.

We feel that we are having a significant impact on the conservation in Horsnell Gully.

John - Project Coordinator.

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Project report 1996

Working bee April 1996
Andrew staking seedlings
April 1996

Scouts and the Community

One of the aims of Scouting is to prepare people for citizenship. At Pembroke we have several activities which help other people and can be fun at the same time. Frequently childre ask "What is in it for me?", wanting instant satisfaction or tangible reward. I believe that the world as enough selfish and mercenary activities that we need to be deliberately atruistic at times. However, children should learn to work for money too, particularly when wanting to go on a trip or such.

Our Scout group has been recognised by the Scout Association and KESAB for its work in environment at Horsnell Gully Conservation Park. For two hours a month, throughout the year, we work on track maintenance, removal of pest plants and planting seedlings grown from seed collected in the Park. Since we started in 1991 people who walk through the Park have commented on the improvement in access to the falls and the trail signs in place.

National Parks and Wildlife Service has also recognised the Group for producing two brochures for the Park. Lee, a Year 9 student made an informative interpretative walking tour of the area near the car park. A second brochure is a compilation of environmental notes and trail information for the Park. Many Scouts have helped in its production. These brochures are available from the Park information board.

Working bee May 1996
Slashing growth from the tracks
Working bee May 1996

A new local Rotary Club is interested in helping us occassionally with a project which may be too big for our members. Their offer is most welcome and also is an outreach into the community, broadening the contact our scouts have with others who help.

We gave recently been nominated for a Service to the Community Award from KESAB for our work and want us now to justify the award with a presentation in October.

I think Pembroke Scouts can be happy that its programme is gaining attention and that the small numbers of scouts and parents who help are doing something that is valued by the community.

John Mugford, Project Coordinator, Scout Leader

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Report for the Friends Group March 1995

Working bee May 1986
Lee and John
placing Nature Trail brochure May 1996
Horsnell Gully now has signed walking trails thanks to the National Parks rangers who planted them in February. In January 1994 Pembroke Scouts walked a trundle wheel around the paths and timed the walks. Route plans were then made for a variey of walks so notices could be posted in the car park and at significant corners and so that a brochure could be prepared giving some detail on the trails. The brochure is now nearly complete thanks to Michael who has done most of the typing and setting out.

There are two main walks from the car park, one follows the main valley, up via the waterfalls to the top gate of the park. At the entrance of the second valley on the left 700 metres from the carpark, there is a fainter trail up the left hand valley and a harder waterfall. This trail is not marked at either end.

The second trail, via Rockdale Hill, leaves the car park and proceeds up the eastern ridge where another notice informs the walker of the choice of the fire-track and a longer walk, or then fainter one up the spur.

National Parks keep the grass in the carpark area mowed and, a new gate has been mounted near the carpark to replace the one destroyed by a falling tree. The rangers have been notified each month of the activity of the group in clearing the path of blackberries and broom, the removal of the small amount of litter left in the carpark occasionally, and the inaccuracy of the tracks marked on the G.I.S. maps supplied to us.

Working bee May 1986
Nick and Bruce
removing Cork Elm May 1996

For our February working bee we made a video of these two walks showing the new signs and the need to cut back blackberries soon. Later in the year we plan to plant trees from seed collected in the park. This will be in the main valley near the join of the two paths where we will clear blackberries first.

Horsnell Gully 1995 Plans

Through the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta we have the responsibility for the maintenance of Horsnell Gully Conservation Park, the Scout Parent committee is part of the group through the Scouts. Here are our plans for this year.
1. Track Maintenance
Main Track and Rockdale Track
Joy and Kerry 1986
Joy and Kerry 1996
2. Blackberries
in the main creek upstream from the Rockdale junction...
3. Map
the outer boundary of weeds
4. Attack
some area of olives
5. Plant
the 180 seedlings we have grown.

John - Project Coordinator.

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Working bee May 1986
Working bee May 1996

A review of the activities of the Friends Group in Horsnell Gully 1994

On a Saturday, about the 20th of the month, one patrol of scouts from Pembroke with an occasional parent and several members of "the Friends Group", from 2 - 4pm, at Horsnell Guly Conservation Park. Attendance this year has not been as good as in the past, however significant work has been done.

1994 Activities

Map checking giving distances and time to walk the various routes was completed in January. The information given to the National Park people in February to include sign boards.

A parent of one of the Scouts, Michael and I drove around the internal roads one weekday with the ranger, Colin noting where the signboards should go for the public to see.

A team cleared the first part of the Rockdale track which had been neglected for some time. There were parts which needed to be made less slippery too.

Several times during the year the main valey track had work done on it; removing overhanging blackberries, gorse and broom.

John Mugford 1986
John Mugford 1996

Five sign posts were planted at ends of the tracks, early on. The topsoilis only 5cm deep in places and there is weathered rock which took some digging into.

With Bill, seeds of several plantes were collected and prepared for the next planting season. Scouts will take care f the boxes and planting.

On a walk one day we found the second waterfall which we will mark on the map of trails but not on the ground to leave something for the intrepid walker who can read a map.

A track around the western valley which was said to be a route out of the valley was cleared enough to show it so be only a service track to the orchards above and west of the house.

The interpretive brochure is well on the way.

Working bee May 1986
John Mugford 1996

Plans for 1995

The brochure will be completed and photocopied to sit in a box on a post in the carpark.

Sign posts which should be ready by now will be planted. Track maintenance will continue. Five boxes of seedlings will be grown and planted, Approaches to several locals will be made to find out more of the place-names and early history.

Some interest from the public is suggesting that a sub-group of the Friends Group could be a benefit to planning and work in the Park. Names are being collected of interested people.

John - Project Coordinator.

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Working bee 1986
Nick at the Working bee 1996

From the archives: Horsnell Gully

1991-1993 What has been achieved so far

We started, feeling our way, from our first day in the park in May 1991. At the ned of 1993 we have grown beyond the first tentative aims of keeping the track up the Main Valley clear for walkers and collecting rubbish, to a more comprehensive management activity.
  1. The main track has been kept fairly clear f broom and Blackberries
  2. One heap of gravel (5t) was laid on the upper track and the other (10t) was removed by National Parks.
  3. Posts and rails were placed around the car park by NPWS after we offered to repace the old rusty cable with a new one.
  4. NPWS removed the rubbish bins which had become a burden to empty regularly, and since they have gone there has been only a minimal litter problem.
  5. Six grader tyres were found in the scub below the tallest pylon on the cliffs. These were moved to the car park and taken away by NPWS.
  6. NPWS has mowed the grass around the car park regularly, keeping the front area looking inviting.
Overgrown Broom March 1991
Overgrown Broom March 1991
A review of the Friends archives shows
1993: 1992: 1991:

Page last updated 18 February 2020 - Volunteer Hours updated.

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