Volunteering at Rocklily
Yes we got hit big time by the bushfire on 31st December. We fought the firestorms which completely encircled us by ourselves for 8 days first 3 nights and days with no sleep. A massive effort were still trying to recover from. Feb 14th saw 440mm rain and over the following 10 days a metre of rain and extensive flooding with soil and ash washed into creeks dams etc.
We are trying to clean it all up as wildlife are not drinking from dams due to alkalinity due to fire ash. So theres plenty to do, its not about cuddling cute wombats. Were looking for people willing to use a chainsaw and huge muncher to get rid of dead burnt trees, or weeding the growing patato vines.
Were looking for help for just a couple of days at a time and due to the Virus situation are this wil vary and were a little careful where people come from as we are both over 60 with lower immune systems.
Warwick and Dianna run our property as Volunteer wildlife carers, were self funded, as many wildlife carers are, there are not many government grants available. We retired 4 years ago wen Warwick was diagnosed with Parkingsons disease, while not super obvious yet, he’s slowing down.And its a lot of work for just 2 of us. Currently in care 10 wombats which is alot of work as well as feeding bushfire displaced wildlife.
So we to love have various projects completed, many hands make light work. We can provide camping spots, we have some in house accomadation, or there is the old shearing shed as well. Contact us to talk about it.the following are just some of the projects that need doing. We cook lovely morning and afternoon tea’s if your bringing lunch, we also can provide lunches, good company relaxing chat around the fire in winter, or a refreshing swim in summer. Tell us why you want to come and. what you think you can help with, we do provide training and teach safe work practices.
Weeding. Keeping weeds under control, is a never ending job, we concentrate on the deadly for wildlife weeds, getting them in spring before flowering is the best time.
Bush fire & Flooding repair ; We have weeds galore and its a big job, just trying to keep pace and cut off and remove seed heads to start with. We also have alot of dead standing trees, these will become dead fallen trees and a major hazard for future bushfire.
Repair and building enclosures. An ongoing job, wombats can really make a mess with enclosures so adding fox proofing, repairing damage and general maintance are low skill jobs.
Cleaning out and renovating pens. after 12months the wombats can make a real mess of a wombatorium, before the next wombats move in, it’s needs a tidy up, filling in excess burrows, sewing some grass all to be ready for those busy little wombats to come and learn in.
Cleaning out and tidy up shed’s; There is always work on our 2 huge old shearing shed’s, one we’d like to sort out for people to ‘camp’ in with a bit of a kitchen, toilet etc. And can you just imagine what 3 25kg wombats can do in Warwicks work shed, when they decide to move in because of months of rain..
Barbed Wire fencing removal
Wildlife can get terribly injured with fencing, especially barbed wire. We have had a recent incident on a property near us, while we were not around. A greater glider (the largest of the gliding possums) was found entangled in the wire, tearing the wing membranes. It was untangled and cared for by a local wildlife group and returned to the spot where it was found. All our fences have the top 2 strands as barbed wire, which is traditionally used for cattle and sheep. It all needs removing, as wildlife fleeing from predators or heaven forbid fires, gets hung up in fencing and will die.
Rocklily has about 2 km of fencing with barbed wire in it, some with just one strand, some with 4 or 5 all well attached to each post. It’s a slow job cutting it all out section by section. To date I’ve removed any in animal trackways that cross the small inter-farm dirt road, so they can escape any traffic without getting ‘hung up’. I have to cut each section of often rusty wire between each set of posts, a long job. Wearing the toughest gloves I can helps, but there are often 2 or 3 strands twisted together to form the top row. I’m winding it up to form a huge sculptural ball that can sit on our hill. Some of this wire we will replace with just 2 or 3 strands of wire, to keep those travelling through to other properties on the road.
For more information you can download the free ‘wildlife-friendly fencing’ pamphlet here.
Working bees with Deloit in November 2017, 18 , 19 These have removed alot of fencing , still plenty to go. The December bushfire has made this easier. Clearing around pine trees helped in the dec fires stop bushfire from infighting them.
October 2019 saw Turramurra rovers help with clearing breaker moving rocks and logs so we could mow. This became invaluable in keeping the fire at bay by mowing and having less burning and easier to put out.
Late September 2014 A second working bee on fencing, it’s warmed up, and we saw a 1.5m brown snake the other day, so were wearing Gaiters (or Warwick, Julie and Lucy are as they work on removing another fenceline). With an expected mob of young joeys arriving in October we want to clear as much as we can near the joey pens. Stinging nettle is taking it’s toll again and some experimenting with natural relief, ice or new fern shoots rating the same. We love having help and are very grateful for those friends and new friends that come to give a hand.
Fence stomping, post removal and down among the nettles.
Early September 2014 While it’s cold and snakes are in hibernation we had a small working bee tackling the worst section of fencing. 4 fences crossing a creekline in 50 metres. There are large trees down, stinging nettles, thorn bushes and dense scrub, with steep leaf-littered slopes into it and deep boggy sections of creek. This made for a couple of fun-filled days. We collected the lot, star posts, chicken wire, wallaby wire, lots of plain wire and barbed wire, even some ancient handmade barbed wire! Thank you to Anne and Jonathan for their great efforts, made it all so much easier!