Sandhill paddock walk at Booroorban, south of Hay
With the native vegetation bouncing back from recent rain events that followed a long dry summer and autumn, a third Paddock Walk was organised in early June by staff from Riverina Local Land Services Hay office in conjunction with Landcare, Greening Australia and other agencies, to visit Riverine White Cypress Pine Sandhill’s around Booroorban. These walks are part of a project to restore Pine Sandhills in the Rangelands funded by the NSW government through its Catchment Action program.
As with previous Walks, Australian Network for Plant Conservation Project Manager and local Conargo property owner Martin Driver was the principal speaker. The twenty five participants met at the Royal Mail Hotel at Booroorban for a discussion and native plant and resource display, before moving on to local property “Zara,” owned by Australian Food and Agriculture Co Ltd. Situated near the Zara homestead is a fenced reserve that contains a long time preserved extensive sandhill vegetation community.
The abundance of species on this locally intact sandhill was breathtaking with many at the point of flowering and/or setting fruit following the rain. Many of these plant communities pre-date European settlement. Some of the species observed included Shrubby Rice Flower (Pimelea microcephala), Native Jasmine (Jasminum lineare), Native Clematis (Clematis microphylla), Elegant Speargrass (Austrostipa elegantissima), a rarely observed seeding Rosewood (Alectryon oleifolius) as this plant usually reproduces by suckering, Narrow Leaf Hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustissima), Sandalwood (Santalum lanceolatum) and a seeding White Cyprus Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) with Martin explaining the difference between the seeds of a White Cyprus Pine and a Murray Pine (Callistris gracilis subsp. murrayensis). The differences between a fruiting Sweet Quondong (Santalum acuminatum) and a Bitter Quondong (Santalum murrayanum) were also discussed.
Following lunch at the Royal Mail Hotel, the group drove to another local property “Elmsleigh” recently purchased by the Hooke family. The first site visit was to a proposed sandhill reclamation area followed by a stop at a neighboring State Forest reserve, which contained many local species including shrubs such as Senna (Senna artemisiodes subsp. Coriacea and subsp. filifolia) and Yanga bush (Maireana brevifolia) and copperburrs (Maireana sp.) as well as young White Cyprus Pines and many Flax-Lilies or Dianella sp. growing in the leaf litter.
The final stop was to a fenced native Quondong plantation on next door property “BurraBuroon” owned by the Butcher family where the prolific growth of Sweet Quondongs was observed and discussed. The next Paddock Walk will take place in early Spring with a return to “Zara” to observe fruiting and seeding sandhill species. Interested people can contact Sally Ware by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mobile 0429 307 627, Martin Driver by email at email@example.com or mobile 0400 170 957 or Michael Fayle at firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile 0409 784 752.
More Information: Sally Ware, Riverina Local Land Services, Hay 0429 307 627 email@example.com or Martin Driver, ANPC Project Officer, 0400 170 957
Media contact: Juliet Cullen, Communications Officer Riverina Local Land Services 6923 6355 firstname.lastname@example.org