In 2005 Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group planted native shrubs and some trees within the railway easement east of the Walmer Road crossing. Plants have established so well that in some areas sight lines for the train drivers were being obstructed by vegetation, and in other areas natural recruitment has encroached on regulation clearances from the track. We met with VGR and Mt Alexander Shire Council to identify the issues and agreed that the most efficient way to dispose of prunings would be to mulch on site.
Pruning was done after the January floods and (thanks to Dave’s 4WD tractor) the chipper got in and out of the site with barely a tyre mark left as evidence! Stands of Wattle and River Red Gum were thinned, and other trees pruned to give better visibility to the roadway and signals. David Watkins from VGR was a great help dragging branches to the chipper. There has been a lot of recruitment of River Red Gum and Silver Wattle close to the rail tracks and these small trees were cut and poisoned.
It is gratifying to hear that David from VGR and many passengers admire the plantings – especially when they flower in spring. They enhance the variety of vegetation types that line this popular tourist attraction.