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    Friends Preserve Iconic Reserve

    Angophora Reserve sign 320Angophora Bushland Reserve, at the junction of Bona Vista Road and Burgess Street in south Armidale, is a precious piece of bushland remaining within the town boundaries. It is small, only 1.35 ha but enough for large native trees to grow, mature, and shed branches. This is when most eucalypts develop hollows.

    Hollows in native trees are nesting places for some iconic Australian birds and animals and essential for survival of those species and can take many decades to form depending on the tree species. No tree hollows: no kookaburras. These branches (and ultimately the whole tree) are left lying on the ground to provide habitat for animals such as lizards and echidnas, as well as store carbon and be a source of nutrients. 

    Angophora Reserve is looked after by a volunteer Landcare group - supported by Southern New England Landcare. The group has cleared truckloads of weedy species from the reserve since 2014, including pyrocantha, cotoneaster, blackberry and privet. In place of these, native species have been planted, including local wattles, shrubs and eucalypts. The group has short working bees once a month in Spring and Autumn for maintenance (but last year the group was in stasis due to the drought). 

    The Friends of Angophora Bushland Reserve have produced a booklet about the Reserve with text and photographs mostly by Ruth Trémont but also with contributions by members of the group. 

    In January it rained, producing an abundance of wildflowers among the native grasses not seen for 50 years, plus a few weeds that the group have been dealing with. In February, the Coronavirus became a world-wide threat and in March, before the state went into lockdown, we had a working bee cutting back elm suckers. Five, well-spaced out people, spent an hour cutting and painting. The area we worked on looked much better afterwards.  There is a circular pathway mowed through the Reserve, which will be maintained for the next months by a single worker. It provides a nice walk on flat terrain, with views from the north-west section over the Golf Course to Mount Duval.

    Keep up to date with Friends of Angophora Bushland Reserve at https://snelandcare.org.au/angophora-bushland-reserve

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