What we’re doing
Restoring an entire ecosystem is a tricky business, but at Scottsdale we hope to do just that by helping natural regeneration along, by replanting key species of the precious yellow box woodland.
A project aiming to restore 300 hectares of woodland is being carried out by Greening Australia – and we've jointly funded it with the Australian Government.
How do we create an environment that favours native plants when the soil has a long history of fertiliser, grazing and cultivation? African Lovegrass is a major headache. Cropping areas on the valley floor have become infested with it, but we're trying out a few different techniques.
One successful strategy has been removing the top 10cm of nutrient-enriched topsoil. We then direct seed with a mix of native trees and shrubs. So far the new seedlings are doing great.
Relocating the Striped Legless Lizard
With 1 in 15 Australian reptiles at risk of extinction, we've translocated and reintroduced the Striped Legless Lizard to Scottsdale. We rescued these nationally-threatened lizards from two development sites in northern Canberra.
Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach (UMDR)
The UMDR has been established to demonstrate ways of supporting the recovery of native fish. Amongst its projects are carp control research and willow reduction measures.
Carp are one of the world's most invasive species and research we're involved in has the potential to inform targeted carp removal on a much broader scale.
Not much is known about their movements and where they aggregate in the context of this upland riverine system. The project involves tagging fish and tracking their movements with acoustic telemetry. They'll also be lured, trapped and removed from a section of the river to learn more about their population structure.
Finally, local anglers will be engaged to support the work by reporting carp sightings and carp catches including numbers, behaviour and size using the Feral Fish Scan app.
Reducing the impact of willow trees
Willow infestation is a major issue for native fish habitats – it can block out native plants, alter stream flows, cause flooding and reduce water quality. The UMDR works to control young emerging willows with volunteers in kayaks cutting back and removing the plants before they can establish.
UMDR Project facilitator Antia Brademann has described how they can block waterflow as well as produce a fibrous root mass that tends to affect habitats on the bank and make burrowing difficult for Platypus.
''We also get leaf fall from the willow in the autumn," she said "and we often get a rotting muck at the bottom of the water. It degenerates water quality and raises phosphate levels.''
The project is led by the Kosciuszko 2 Coast partnership, with more funding from the Murray Darling Basin Authority and Bush Heritage Australia.
Volunteers – the spirit of Scottsdale
It would be no understatement to say that volunteers have made Scottsdale the place it is today.
In one year alone they clocked up nearly 1,000 working days helping with revegetation, tackling weeds and feral animals, carrying out survey work, looking after infrastructure, mapping and closing rabbit warrens, and more.
The majority are locals who care deeply about their patch of bush, but they also come from further afield.
The volunteer-run nursery on Scottsdale is a case in point, with volunteers regularly on site to tend to the seedlings and grasses such as Bulbines, Trigger plants, Chocolate Nodding, Yam Daisies and Blue Devils, which are grown from seed.