You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Mulching a win-win for Arthurs Seat State Park

News

Mulching a win-win for Arthurs Seat State Park

Monday 31 March, 2014

A new fuel management technique using a large mechanical mulching machine that chews the vegetation into coarse mulch is currently being trialled in Arthurs Seat State Park.

Arthurs Seat has a long history of fire and with the proximity of homes and critical infrastructure to the nearby bushland and a large influx of tourists during the summer months, there is pressing need for high levels of bushfire preparedness.

This year two areas within the park, to the east of the Arthurs Seat Rd and another near Waterfall Gully Rd, are being treated for what is planned to be a very positive outcome for the ecology of the area as well as significantly reducing the bushfire hazard.

“Traditionally we would undertake planned burning to reduce fuel loads but this can be quite difficult in areas where the vegetation is predominantly thick Tea Tree with a sparse understory that will not carry a low intensity ground fire as would normally be required. We also know from past experience that when we do burn in these areas it is often challenging to manage the woody weeds after the burn,” said Parks Victoria District Manager Libby Jude.

Park Rangers have worked with local environmental experts to develop this trial as part of an integrated approach to managing fuel loads and woody weed species including Sweet Pittosporum, Tea Tree, Boneseed, Sallow Wattle and Burgan. Burning would reduce the immediate fuel loads in the short term but it will also have potentially detrimental effects in the longer term with vigorous woody weed growth and subsequent loss of indigenous vegetation.

This new fuel management technique uses a large mechanical mulching machine that chews the vegetation into coarse mulch. The mulch provides an ideal environment for native vegetation and it also reduces the amount of weed seed.

This treatment is then followed up with an intensive weed management program that will see it return to its native open wooded grasslands state which has a much lower and more easily managed bushfire hazard level.

 “This is a very positive fire and weed management outcome. We are reducing the fuel and hence the fire danger, we are reducing the number of weeds in the park. It really is a win all around because this technique’s overall cost is roughly the same as other options, plus we can do the work pretty much any time during summer or autumn and we are encouraging the local environment to return to its natural state,” she said.

“While the area might look a bit different for a short while this new fuel management technique should see the area progressively reverting to a more natural state in the coming years.”

Parks Victoria together with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) maintains a network of approximately 40 km of fire access tracks and fuelbreaks in the park and conducts a series of planned burns every year as part of an integrated plan to reduce risk.

As well as the work by Parks Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula Shire, private land holders and CFA contribute to the overall fire preparedness throughout the entire Mornington Peninsula overseen by the Municipal Fire Management Planning Committee.

Recent Stories

First Park Ranger traineeship a refugee’s dream come true

Tuesday 27 January, 2015
A young refugee from the Karen community of Burma has become the first person to secure a paid Ranger traineeship…

Australia Day honours

Monday 26 January, 2015
Congratulations to two Parks Victoria employees who have been awarded in this year’s Australia Day Honours. Cam Beardsell, Ranger, North…

Play it safe this Australia Day

Thursday 22 January, 2015
Authorities are reminding the public to think about camp fire safety this Australia Day weekend,with patrols out in force to…

Innovative technology to help combat weeds in Victoria’s national parks

Thursday 22 January, 2015
A new technique that uses high resolution aerial photography to map invasive weeds across large areas is set to help…

Students help out with beach clean-up at Cape Conran

Tuesday 20 January, 2015
Students from the Snowy River Campus of the School for Student Leadership, near Marlo on the edge of Cape Conran…

See what lies beneath the sea at Point Addis

Friday 16 January, 2015
Would you like to get a glimpse of the spectacular underwater world at Point Addis Marine National Park and Bells…

View all media releases