Friends of Point Richards planting again in brief pause between lockdowns

September 25, 2021 BY

Member Pam Wilkie during the planting donning her red and blue Melbourne Demons attire. Photo: SUPPLIED

RESIDENTS in the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast areas were briefly able to enjoy the easing of restrictions last week and a local volunteer group was able to resume its activities protecting and restoring the biodiversity of Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve in that time.

The Friends of Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve group was able to resume planting activities last Tuesday, as they have done for the past 20 years, during the brief time outdoor gatherings were permitted under the temporary easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The group planted and guarded scattered groupings of indigenous plants along the Air Strip and the adjacent western edge of the reserve.

Plants such as manna gums, lightwoods, lomandra, sheoaks, bearded heath, clematis and hop bitter pea were planted during the group’s two-hour session abiding by strict COVIDSafe practices on the day.

Member of the group Pam Wilkie said it was great to see everyone again but had to keep in mind that there were still some rules in place during the day’s activity. “It was interesting because we all were conscious of social distancing,” Ms Wilkie said.

“We all had masks on, so we were all still very much in that mode of being cautious of getting too close, even though we were in the middle of a reserve.

“But it was just so nice to be back together working on what was a really important planting project.”

The group works alongside the staff at coastal Crown land manager Bellarine Bayside, which oversees and directs the group’s projects and provides them with the plants needed for planting.

Bellarine Bayside’s environment and planning manager, Justin Smith, said the group have been wonderfully flexible and supportive throughout the last 18 months as their ability to get together was affected by government health restrictions.

“They have rallied to join us at short notice when government restrictions allow, including last week between lockdowns, and the effort they put in is fantastic,” Mr Smith said.

“Without the group we couldn’t achieve all the environmental outcomes we do.

“Their knowledge and understanding of the Point Richards Flora and Fauna Reserve is amazing and they are supportive of the long-term goals to restore the reserve.”

The group usually meets on Tuesday from 10am to 12pm (subject to weather, COVID-19 and other restrictions) and new members are encouraged to attend. If you would like to find out more, please contact Jane on [email protected]

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