Words from Jim
In April we were lucky enough to take part in the first ever Tarcutta Hills fence removal weekend to dismantle a length of fencing bordering a neighbouring property that was purchased last year. This weekend was led by long-term volunteer and surveyor, Justin Kell.
It was very rewarding to have Justin explain aspects of his work when he and his assistants surveyed Tarcutta Hills Reserve. Discussion highlighted how much surveying has changed over the centuries with current technology presenting major improvements in accuracy and time saving. Even so there will always be a need to have surveyors in the field.
Justin estimated that judging by the fencing some of the boundaries were surveyed in the 1920s and in one instance, he was able to show us a tree with a characteristic blaze in it, now grown over.
When marking a boundary for a registered plan, a surveyor must place 'reference marks' which are located away from the actual boundary corner, with a stated bearing and distance to the boundary corner. Pictured is an example of a reference tree.
This raised the topic of the heritage value of such trees and other survey markers - an essential consideration for fulfilling the stated conservation value of Bush Heritage's goal of ‘Protected, connected landscapes and waterways for plants, animals and people’.
We only joined as volunteers a short time ago and Tarcutta Hills Reserve was our first practical input. I am excited to hear Justin Kell's presentation on his surveying work on Tarcutta in a few weeks as part of the Bush Heritage Volunteer Talks.
Words from Erica
Tarcutta Hills Reserve is an idyllic spot with its distant views of undulating grassy hills and heavily wooded areas. The bird life was also interesting with plenty of Noisy Friar Birds chattering amongst themselves in the trees while we worked underneath.
Galahs, Butcher Birds and small flocks of Red Rump Parrots were flying in to feed on the grass seeds. It would have been great to see a Swift Parrot!
We enjoyed Saturday night in the hut complete with good food, interesting conversations and a blazing fire!
By morning tea on Sunday we'd finished with the fence removal, so being ANZAC Day we celebrated in style by sitting in the reserve and enjoying ANZAC biscuits that Justin brought with him from Gundagai RSL the previous morning, along with home-made fruit cake and a cup of tea.
Afterwards Justin took us all for a drive onto part of the country that Bush Heritage recently acquired. This involved negotiating a steep drive up a rocky slope, but the magnificent view from the top more than made up for the bumpy journey. In addition it was great to see all the beautiful eucalyptus blakelyi, Yellow box and Ironbarks.
From here we drove slowly down the other side and made our way across the paddocks where another walk to the ridge line was undertaken to look at the view and the fencing. After lunch we retraced our wheel tracks, pausing to enjoy the view again of all the untouched bushland in the reserve, which Ben was very excited to see knowing that it was all part of Bush Heritage.
All too soon our time at Tarcutta Hills Reserve came to a close and it was time to pack up and return to civilisation. For me, it was as if we'd been transported to another place and time over the weekend - such was the effect of this magical place!