Dr John Martin, Wildlife Ecologist from the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney (image: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au)

2018 Blue Wren lecture

Dr John Martin, Wildlife Ecologist from the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney has accepted an invitation to talk to the Society at 6pm on Monday 16 April at Benledi (Glebe Library). His lecture will cover his recent work on urban bird populations in Sydney and will be followed by a glass of wine and nibbles. All members of the Society and their friends are welcome to attend.

Craney Small Grants Program
Last year Jan Craney, a former convenor of the Blue Wrens subcommittee, left a bequest of $5,000 in her will to the Subcommittee. Following extensive discussion, the Subcommittee decided to spend the funds by awarding competitive Small Grants of about $1,000 to our 11 local preschools and primary schools to foster the learning of biodiversity in our suburb. Grant applications will be sent to each of the preschools and primary schools in June and funds will be awarded to the successful applicants in August. We expect to fund two or three grants each year.

Updates from Glebe’s bushcare groups
Friends of Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group: There has recently been little rain and it has been too dry for planting days – the next one is planned for April. The City has thinned an excessive population of eucalypts and Sydney Water is yet to restore damage to the park resulting from repair of a water pipe.

Glebe Bushcare Group: Weeding continues and the group will be meeting each Wednesday morning near Jubilee Park and Chapman Rd.

John Street Reserve: local residents are watering the native flora in the Reserve as well as removing weeds and there has been lots of growth over the summer. The lawn closest to St James Ave has been fenced off due to heavy usage by soccer players but regrowth is slow and the area may require re-turfing. Many of the stakes previously installed to protect young shrubs have been broken by footballs and cricket balls and local volunteers have worked to replace them. Both dog and bat faeces are a major problem, the latter being found on the park benches. To encourage dog owners to pick up their pets’ faeces, a request will be made to the City to install additional signage and a plastic bag dispenser at the northern entrance to the Reserve. Also, over the Christmas period illegal drugs were dropped in the Reserve and when they were picked up by the owners many plants were damaged as they searched the area with torches at 3am one morning.

The Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group: Work continues on finalising the Action Plan for the pocket parks. Discussions between the City and Transport NSW should finally result in the installation of a tap in the lower, eastern part of the park. The rocks provided by the City have been relocated to establish a ‘lizard lounge’ and the coir logs have helped stabilise the top soil on the steep site. A roster of volunteers will be established for watering the recent plantings, weeding and litter collection.

Ferry Rd Bushcare Group (Ernest Pederson Park, William Carlton Gardens and Quarry Lane): City of Sydney contractors removed all the ivy, Hackberry and Cape Honeysuckle from the cliff face in William Carlton Gardens. Thus, an important habitat for birds, possums and reptiles was destroyed and the City has no plans to re-plant or stabilise the shallow depth of soil at the site. Extensive correspondence with City officials has not resolved the issues and it was agreed that the Bushcare Group should now write to Monica Barone, the Chief Executive of the City to seek her help to fix the problems.