Mattocks at the ready: Parks Vic tackle Artichoke at Plenty Gorge

Parks Victoria are currently receiving much-needed funding from ‘Rivers to Ranges’, a joint project between Whittlesea, Nillumbik and Minningham Councils. This state government initiative funds weed control works on public land to protect key biodiversity assets in the region, which for us, is Plenty Gorge Parklands. Ranger Kirraly was kind enough to provide some information on the works locations and photos, read more below:

Wiltonvale area west of the plenty river (Mernda). With the assistance of funding from the ‘Rivers to Ranges’ project, 68 hectares containing scattered Artichoke Thistle were treated by Parks Victoria Rangers and contractors here in 2016. The purpose of this work is to assist with the restoration of this area to the open grassy woodlands that it once was. This section of the park contains some significant and very old River Red gums, and future supplementary plantings of this species are planned by Parks Victoria.

Tanunda Wetlands – west of Plenty River (Mill Park). 11 hectares of artichoke thistle was treated in 2016. On-going control of weeds in this area will protect the sensitive Tanunda wetlands adjacent to the site, which provides critical habitat for many birds and wildlife.

Over the next couple of months, the Rivers to Ranges project will again be funding extensive Artichoke Thistle control to protect our high value Morang Wetlands, focussing on the Wiltonvale area near Carome homestead. Parks Victoria Rangers will be doing a lot of in-house thistle control using spray rigs, nap saks and digging with mattocks.

Council’s annual Artichoke Thistle Education program is also now underway, with compliance mapping commencing in  mid-July for approximately 120 properties across the municipality. For more information, contact katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

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