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Author Archive | Kirsten Mayer

The shoe spray challenge

 

You know those boot-cleaning stations at the start of iconic walks?

They help to stop the spread of diseases that can fell mighty big trees.

Well one of the walkers on a walk I did last month, almost knocked me over too with this brilliant idea:

He brought along his own spray bottle to spray everyone’s boots at the start of the walk!

We all raised each foot and got a spray all over our soles.

And oh boy did my soul feel good to be walking so softly through that beautiful un-tracked rainforest!

This little trick is easy and cheap to do.

All you need is a spray bottle with either methylated spirits (70-100%), bleach (dilute to 25%) or F10 disinfectant solution.

Read more

The challenge

Will you be the sole cleaner for the walks you lead or join?

You’ll be helping out nature and maybe also making some more souls feel good 🙂

 

Happy, clean walking shoes at the iconic Protester Falls in northern NSW | Fellow walkers with clean boots | Beautiful Protester Falls country. Photos: Kirsten Mayer

Save Kosci – the triumphant end, and what we’ve achieved

Most of the 200 Save Kosci walkers at the summit of Mt Kosciuszko

The Save Kosci walk ended on Saturday with amazing scenes as around two hundred walkers arrived at Rawsons Pass and headed to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko. The Save Kosci hired helicopter carrying Channel 7 and the Canberra Times circled the summit several times while we chanted ‘It’s a Park not a paddock’ and excitedly waved our arms off. The helicopter then took the media on a tour of undamaged and severely-damaged sites in the national park.

To reduce pressure on the alpine vegetation near the summit, we returned to the paved area at Rawsons Pass, where Andrew Cox, CEO of the Invasive Species Council, presented certificates to the five full-distance walkers – Marg Sharp, Alan Laird, Tom Vaughan, Paul Millgate and Donna Powell. And kindly gave me a thank-you certificate as well.

Sympathetic newspaper articles – in the Weekend Australian, the Canberra Times, the online editions of the SMH and Brisbane Times, and in the Guardian  – and an interview on ABC Radio South East, were triggered by the last day of the walk. A Channel 7 feature is still in preparation and will air in January.

Thanks to the amazing support from our communities, the Save Kosci walk has achieved many things:

  • The 2 weeks of the walk through the electorate of Mr Barilaro indicated that the majority of Monaro voters support Save Kosci’s aims. Although there were a few negative comments on social media and from passers-by, the vast majority of reactions were very positive. They ranged from thumbs-up from passing cars to home-made cakes. The promised confrontations and ‘you’ll be run out of town’ comments on some social media sites did not lead to anything.
  • The numbers at the protest in Queanbeyan on 22nd November – nearly 150 of us and just 17 brumby advocates – were further evidence that Save Kosci represents a majority view.
  • Media coverage has been extensive, especially in regional media, thanks to the work of Cynthia Burton. The list at the foot of this post relates to coverage triggered by the Save Kosci walk;  other excellent coverage from releases issued by our umbrella organisation, Reclaim Kosci, on horses starving from over-population and on the November 8th science conference, ensured that the issue of feral horse damage in Kosciuszko National Park (KNP) has been repeatedly in the news
  • We have had a lively presence on Facebook and Twitter, thanks to Terrylea Reynolds and Cynthia Burton
  • Because of the walk, we were able to put our case face-to-face to influential people including  Penny Sharpe (Deputy Leader of the NSW Labor Party), Mike Kelly (member for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro), Anoulack Chanthivong (member for the state seat of Macquarie Fields), Greg Warren (member for the state seat of Campbelltown), Sally Quinnell (Labor candidate for the state seat of Camden), Ursula Stephens (Labor candidate for the state seat of Goulburn), Bryce Wilson and Peter Marshall (Labor and Greens candidates for the state seat of Monaro), John Castellari (Councillor Snowy-Monaro Regional Council), Pru Goward, member for the state seat of Goulburn, Tim de Mestre (National Party Member and former Chair of Chairs of the Local Land Services Board) and Tara Cheyne (MLA, ACT)
  • We were welcomed to country by Indigenous elders Wally Bell (Ngunnawal) and Aunty Deanna (Ngarigo); Uncle Max Harrison (Yuin) attended the start of the walk and we also had supportive contact with the Wingecarribee Aboriginal Community & Cultural Centre.
  • We have nearly 1000 signatures on our petition to the state parliament of NSW; a good start towards our aim of 10,000 signatures by end of March 2019.
  • The walkers have forged new friendships, and once the blisters heal, will have many happy memories. Many ‘quiet bushwalkers’ have discovered environmental activism.

What’s next?

Now that the Save Kosci walk has successfully concluded, the focus is shifting to raising awareness of the feral horse issue prior to the NSW elections, and to the paper petition. (The NSW Parliament does not accept electronic petitions.)

I am looking for volunteers willing to help get petition signatures, through fellow club members and friends and/or staffing petition-signing tables at local shopping centres. Please contact me if you can help: lbgroom@gmail.com or 0473 919 441

Reclaim Kosci will also continue the campaign through their website and on Facebook.

THANK YOU ALL! The full distance and longer-distance walkers have been overwhelmed by your support.

Linda Groom

Convenor, Save Kosci Inc

Linda Groom, Corroboree frog, and Save Kosci through walkers on the summit of Mt Kosciuszko

***********

Media coverage included:

19 November

Queanbeyan Age/Chronicle:

Brett McNamara article with direct reference/link to Save Kosci –

https://www.queanbeyanagechronicle.com.au/story/5764506/park-becomes-a-paddock/

Canberra City News:

https://citynews.com.au/2018/hundreds-walk-for-kosci-repeal/

22 November

Queanbeyan protest, Win tv (ch 10) and ch 9:

https://www.facebook.com/9NewsCanberra/videos/1053616341513761/

Win News

ABC radio SE NSW:

Interview with Linda Groom on hourly repeating news bulletin (transcript/recording not available)

Canberra Weekly:

‘Marching for Kosciuszko’ (attached)  

28 November

Monaro Post:

‘Brumby Bill Rally in Queanbeyan’ (attached)

3 December

ABC radio SE NSW, Breakfast with Simon Lauder (transcript/recording unavailable):

Information on SK and extract from interview with through walker Tom Vaughan included in item on feral horse issues

ABC radio SE NSW, the Statewide Drive (transcript/recording unavailable):

Live interview with through walker Alan Laird

6 November:

Southwest Voice, 

http://www.southwestvoice.com.au/why-save-kosci-campaign-resonates-in-our-neck-of-the-woods/

Around 8 November, 

ABC Radio Illawarra Breakfast with Melinda James, 

Pre-recorded interview with Linda Groom – not available

13 November

Radio 2ST Bowral interview with walker Tom Vaughan, 

Website post available but not recording of interview itself:

https://www.2st.com.au/news/highlands-news/128943-save-kosci-walkers-pass-through-the-highlands

14 November, 

ABC Radio Southeast NSW Breakfast with Simon Lauder: 

Interview with walker Marg Sharp – no recording available

Early November : Milton Ulladulla Times

Story of Milton bushwalkers about to join segment of walk. Must subscribe to paper to read full story.

https://www.ulladullatimes.com.au/story/5757042/bushwalkers-join-campaign-to-highlight-wild-horse-law/

Early November: Southern Highland News, 

Story of visit of walkers to bush regeneration site on property of local Exeter residents,

https://www.southernhighlandnews.com.au/story/5758046/marchers-on-a-mission-to-protect-park/?src=rss

 

GUEST BLOG by Linda Groom, Convenor, Save Kosci Inc, and inspiration behind the Save Kosci Walk

Save Kosci Protest Walk

NSW and the ACT are currently experiencing the remarkable difference that one effective bushwalker can make.

Linda Groom

I’m talking about Linda Groom, from the Canberra Bushwalking Club who is the inspiration behind the Save Kosci Protest Walk – which aims to make repeal of the Kosciuszko Wild Horse Heritage Act 2018 an issue in the March 2019 NSW election.

Linda presented her vision at the November Bushwalking NSW General Meeting, saying “this legislation so disturbed me that I simply had to do something. I’m not a very political person, but I do know how to organise a long distance bush walk.”

And this 560km walk, from the doors of the NSW Parliament in Sydney to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko, is certainly making waves across the state and in the press!

What disturbs Linda even more than those starving horses, is that this Act gives feral horses and other feral animals more rights than native animals. It gives them the right to continue damaging this unique NSW National Park, endangering a host of threatened native species, and destroying the alpine flora:

A water source at Bill Jones Hut in 2014 (left) and 2018 (right)

Bushwalkers from across NSW, the ACT and Victoria have joined Linda in taking action to call for the repeal of this Act. They are walking, organising, sharing the word, and signing the petition which is on its way to reaching the 10,000 signatures required to force the NSW Parliament to meet on the issue.

“It’s a Park not a Paddock!” is the battle cry of the protestors, and you can join them:

  1. Sign the petition and collect signatures from your club and community. Here is a link to the petition. Please print, ask people you know to sign it, and mail it back by 31 March 2019 to GPO Box 160, Canberra, ACT 2601. Remember, with 10,000 signatures we can make parliament meet.
  2. Share the issue: https://savekosci.org/debate/
  3. Join the walk: https://savekosci.org/the-walk/ – there are some amazing sections left and a growing group of walkers!
  4. Donate to the cause: https://savekosci.org/donate/

Don’t delay, act now to help Save Kosci!

See the impact the walk is having with walkers meeting MPs and collecting signatures from across the state:

Photo credits: Linda Groom and the Save Kosci Walkers

Bushwalking NSW Working Group Opportunities

Would you like to make a difference to bushwalking in NSW and the ACT?  Consider joining one of our 6 working groups:

 

Committee Vacancy: Standards & Risk Management Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and concerned about policy and risk management issues that affect all NSW bushwalkers?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on club standards & risk management. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will:

  • develop policies and procedures that clubs can adopt to comply with legal requirements
  • develop tools for clubs to ensure they are compliant eg. with Fair Trading requirements
  • create a club level boiler plate Harassment Policy & Procedures and Inclusion statement
  • refine of Risk Management Guidelines
  • seek funding to provide training in Risk Management to clubs and their members

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you!  Apply through our Contact Us form.

 

Committee Vacancy: Tracks & Access Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and concerned about tracks and track access issues that affect all NSW bushwalkers?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on NSW tracks and access. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will:

  • consider approaches to organising and leading track work
  • monitor Paper Road Land Sales
  • consider track sponsorship, through various mediums such as Social media, the BNSW newsletter, AGM

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you! Apply through our Contact Us form.

 

Committee Vacancy: Conservation Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and concerned about conservation issues that affect all NSW bushwalkers?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on NSW Conservation. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will lead campaigns to protect nature eg. Warragamba Dam, Horses out of Kozi, etc.

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you! Apply through our Contact Us form.

 

Committee Vacancy: New Publications Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and love writing and publication design?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on Publications. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will:

  • seek articles & club profiles from clubs
  • seek funding to develop a new magazine design & print run
  • source & appoint a magazine designer
  • source & appoint an editor
  • liaise with outdoor stores to agree add magazine to sales bags
  • arrange for production

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you! Apply through our Contact Us form.

 

Committee Vacancy: New Recruiting Youths Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and do you or your club hold the key to recruiting young people into clubs?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on recruiting young people into clubs. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will:

  • seek funding to research why youth are not joining our clubs, and what could incentivise them to do so
  • seek funds to develop programs to overcome issues/engage with youth
  • liaise with outdoor organisations that are already engaging youth eg Scouts, Guides, Duke of Edinburgh, Outdoor Education Group
  • consider how clubs could cater to Duke of Edinburgh candidates & retain students as club members
  • consider mechanisms for inclusiveness in clubs – draft a policy and actions
  • educate clubs on possible ways of recruiting young people and provide boiler plate information to include on club websites

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you! Apply through our Contact Us form.

 

Committee Vacancy: Training – Great Leaders, Great Clubs Working Group

Are you a member of an affiliated Bushwalking NSW club? Are you passionate about bushwalking, and are a leader or would like to train leaders?

If you answered yes to both questions, contact us! Bushwalking NSW is seeking volunteers from around the State to form a working group on Training Leaders. It will act as an advisory team to the Management Committee, and will:

  • consider out how clubs can cultivate great leaders
  • consider how clubs can retain great leaders
  • seek funding for a program to develop great leaders in clubs

We will require you to:

  • attend Working Group and Management Committee meetings in person or via video conferencing software;
  • be aware of and have experience in bushwalking in NSW and/or ACT;
  • be aware of bushwalking information, issues, skills, and techniques;
  • promote a cooperative, collaborative group; and
  • assist in the development and implementation of appropriate solutions.

If these goals are of interest, we’d like to hear from you! Apply through our Contact Us form.

Club committee tools and tips

Running a successful club takes a few tools and skills that can be just as handy as a map and compass for keeping your club on track!

Great bushwalkers use their tools and resources exceptionally efficiently, so on this page we shares some tools and tips from Bushwalking NSW and our clubs. This is by no means all the great tips and tools employed by all our clubs, so if you’d like to add to this list, please share your tips here.

 

 

David’s Lane Cove River Minimal Impact Training walks

David will be leading two Minimal Impact Bushwalking Awareness Walks in Lane Cove National Park and this webpage shows the planned route. To book for these walks go to: Bushwalking NSW Minimal Impact Bushwalking Training Events

The walk will start at the Koonjerie Picnic Area in the Lane Cove National Park:

The walk will parts of the Great North Walk on the east side of the river after crossing at the Lane Cove Weir:

The walk goes back across the river near Christie Park where the river is not very wide or deep, and there are many rocks creating the crossing:

The walk will finish at the Macquarie Centre:

From here a 545 bus can be caught back to the starting point or Chatswood Station.

 

Tragedy on The National Pass

All bushwalkers will have been saddened by the news of the recent tragedy on National Pass at Wentworth Falls.

NPWS contractor, well respected rock climber, canyoner and bushwalker, Dave Gliddon was killed, and two of his colleagues were badly injured. They were undertaking maintenance work on a rockfall hazard on the National Pass in the Blue Mountains.

Our thoughts go out to the injured men, and the families of all three men at this difficult time. Sadly, one of the contractors has lost a leg, and we fear more bad news to come.

The Springwood Bushwalking Club has been investigating how to help those affected by this terrible accident, and are encouraging their members to donate to The Dave Gliddon Fund, which has been set up by some of his friends on the gofundme website: https://www.gofundme.com/the-dave-gliddon-fund

David Churches, President of the Springwood Bushwalking Club, has asked us to share this option with the many other bushwalkers across the state who would also like to assist.

11th December, 2017 Update:

David Gliddon was extremely well remembered today at Leura and later at Katoomba; with a large number of NPWS staff in present their Parks shirts.

 

Save Western Sydney Bushland

Dear nature conscious bushwalkers,

Keep in Touch

Is your club doing something to protect your local environment or some place further away? Perhaps you are concerned about a nature protection issue near you and would like to spark discussion about it or see if BNSW can help take action on it. Send me an email in this case. I love receiving mail. I’ll endeavour to respond to you quickly. My email is conservation@bushwalkingnsw.org.au. Please get in touch.

Save Western Sydney Bushland

Do you enjoy a refreshing green patch in Western Sydney once in a while? Would you like to in the future? The NSW government is warning us that future opportunities may be limited due to housing expansion and development prospects in this area. Read ahead to find out more about what’s going on and how you can ensure that important areas are saved.

The Total Environment Centre (TEC), powered by the wonderful Corinne Fisher and her dedicated volunteers and associates, keeps the world up to date on the state of development around Sydney and its surrounding area. Today, TEC has a warning that will make a bushwalker’s blood boil:

The NSW Department of Planning is right now developing a strategic ‘sustainability’ plan for 7 chosen areas in Western Sydney. This will determine which bushland areas will be developed and which will be saved. The Local Government areas to be affected are: Campbelltown, Camden, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Wollondilly.

As a keen bushwalker, I have certainly been walking in these areas and I suspect many of our clubs run trips around there two. There are some stunning adventures to be had, and furthermore some ecosystems that are clearly brimming with life, flora, fauna and fungus that does not deserve to be bulldozed to oblivion.

Please HELP.

TEC and Bushwalking NSW invite you to take a stand and give a voice to these voiceless ecosystems at their forum on Thursday, November 16th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Western Sydney Leagues Club in Leumeah (details below), however here are a couple of suggestions.

  1. PLEASE RSVP at this link, on the TEC website. They need to know how many people will be coming because there is limited space in the venue.
  2. Why not bring a contingent from your club along by making it a club event?
  3. Maybe you could bring some of your conservation minded friends or an open-minded family member.

Event details:

When

November 16, 2017 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where

Western Sydney Leagues Club (Gardenia Room)
10 Old Leumeah Rd
Leumeah, NSW 2560
Australia
Google map and directions

TEC Contact Person

Corinne Fisher
cfisher@tec.org.au
02-92115022

 

Post by Sierra Classen, Bushwalking NSW Conservation Officer

The History and Future of Kedumba Hut

Over 150 years ago, the Kedumba Valley in Blue Mountains National Park was first settled.

In 1832, Thomas Maxwell, an Irish convict, arrived in Sydney and married fellow convict, Elizabeth Osborne, soon after. The couple gave birth to twin boys, one of whom was named William James Maxwell. Born on April 27th 1832, William Maxwell later moved out to the Burragorang area (in modern times home to Warragamba Dam) where he met and married Mary Thompson in 1855. In the 1860s, Maxwell worked as a stockman and ran his own cattle farm to earn a living.

Whether Maxwell first applied for a land grant in Kedumba Valley in 1859 or 1889 is not entirely clear, but the family left a particularly lasting legacy in the form of Kedumba Hut. Three generations of the Maxwell family lived in Kedumba Valley until 1992. During these years, the family constructed five different timber slab huts, as well as other utility buildings. Of the huts, only one is still standing today, and this ‘Kedumba Hut’ has become a place of historical significance.

Built in 1925, Kedumba Hut is an outstanding example of Australian pastoral life removed from larger settlements. According to National Parks & Wildlife Services (NPWS), the hut is an “excellent example of vernacular bush craft” with “timber detailing… of exceptionally high technical… and archaeological potential.” The site is also a prime research target to learn more about vernacular buildings from the 1890s to the 1920s in New South Wales. Very few buildings of its type and age have survived, giving it significance as a “rare and endangered species.”

Kedumba Hut with Mt Solitary behind.  Photo: NPWS

In 2001, a report into the heritage value of the hut was commissioned. The results suggested that Kedumba Hut had considerable state, and possibly even national, significance. The report also detailed that the hut needed urgent stabilisation work or it was at risk of collapsing further. Maintenance to stall the hut’s fall into disrepair was completed in 2004. Over a decade later, a second report was commissioned, this time to determine if the hut could be re-used and better preserved. In order to achieve both ends, the report suggested that the best strategy was to fully restore the site to the condition and function it had in 1925.

With the above in mind, NPWS has put together a plan to restore and refurbish Kedumba Hut to ensure it remains for generations to come. Working with a number of partners, NPWS plans to raise $350,000 for restoration as well as ongoing maintenance. Upon completion, the site will be heritage listed and its preservation guaranteed. Keduma Hut will also be made available as free overnight accommodation for bushwalking groups that can be booked on request. NPWS propose to ensure the hut is weather-tight and hold simple camp-style beds. Water, gas and electricity will not be provided.

Kedumba Hut.  Photo: NPWS

Once the hut has been restored, it could be the perfect opportunity for bushwalkers to take a rest, enjoy the beauty of Kedumba Valley and reflect on what life might have been like for the Maxwell family over 150 years ago.

You can visit Kedumba Hut in the Blue Mountains National Park on the 19km Kedumba Valley Loop track.

Sources

Jack, Ian. ‘Of the hut I builded’: the Maxwells’ slab structures in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Australian Historical Archaeology 27, 2009. Pp 55-66.

Blue Mountains Community. “Maxwell’s Slab Hut” Kedumba Valley: Restoration & Re-use overview. 2016.

Thanks to guest writer: Andrew Barker

Your say on our focus

Thank you to everyone who responded to our survey in January, 2017! It was a biggie!

To begin sharing the results and our actions with you, here’s the ordered response to the question:

What should be the current focus of Bushwalking NSW?

  1. Safety, rescue, risk management
  2. Tracks and access (defined walks)
  3. Conservation (natural places to walk in)
  4. Public promotion of bushwalking
  5. Training
  6. Services to clubs

Interestingly, these options were presented in quite a different order in the survey:

  1. Services to clubs
  2. Public promotion of bushwalking
  3. Conservation
  4. Tracks and access
  5. Safety, rescue, risk management
  6. Training

So it was a good question to ask!

If you would like to send us your thoughts, you can still respond to our survey here.

This information will ultimately go into our strategic plan, however we have already responded with work in these areas:

  • more work on our Risk Management Guidelines
  • met with NPWS and members about tracks and walk promotion
  • visited the historic, Kedumba Valley hut with NPWS and talked about tracks and access (one member specifically asked for huts)
  • delivered an excellent minimal impact bushwalking presentation
  • and more!

While we could never do everything that can be imagined, members also made the following suggestions which we could may be able to  on if we find the resources: “Collate an inventory of walks”

Also, one members suggested we “monitor insurance suitability each year” which we do with the help of Bushwalking Australia.

Our Community Liaison Officer, Alexandra Davidson has been working tirelessly to analyse your results so we will be continuing to bring you more details of the results.