Profuse Appreciation

Windy Moor

Saturday 17 March 2018

Windy Moor planking  photo by Sue
Several tasks were planned for Windy Moor, clearing timber shavings off cushion plants, staining steps and cut spots, stapling wire and moving timber. There was also some pruning on leading to the moor.  All went well until the stapler refused to work not long after lunch, bringing that job to a halt.  Close to 300 metres of the 900 has had wire done.

During the day several walkers went past, including a walking club group, and profuse appreciation for the planking of Windy Moor was expressed by so many of these people.  This has been our experience from the many of those visiting during the time we have been there since the work began.

Lunch time almost over, Howard, Sue & Shirley

Greg stapling wire

The staple gun is causinga problem, Howard, Greg K Greg B & Peter  photo by Sue

Sue painting  

Cushion Plants are harder Than You Might Think

For years it has been understood in many quarters that cushion plants are very badly effected by trampling.  I have even aware of someone asserting that a cushion plant would die if stood on.  There is no doubt that the plant does suffer from excessive walker impact, but there is much more to this when actual sites are examined.

On Windy Moor, at Mount Field National Park, walkers have caused significant damage to cushion plants.  When you visit the moor these plants are noticeable along the track, but if you stop and look about it is hard to see any cushion plants on the moor, even quite close to edge of the track. There are many varieties of other plants visible, but these have all gone from the path of the track due to the heavy use of walkers.  What is left is bare earth, small herbs or grasses and lots of cushion plants. The only conclusion I can come to is that the cushion plants are the lst of the major plant survivors.  They have outlasted all bushy vegetation and have been subjected to thousands of boots tramping on them.

Many of these plants have been so impacted that eventually they too would give way to bare earth and mud.  The newly installed planking will stop this deuteriation and it will provide walkers with a good view of cushion plants that are otherwise hidden from view just a metre or two beyond the old track.  The question is, will the original vegetation gradually return and again hide them, or will the cushions take advantage of the new conditions to maintain their dominance.

Cushion plants visible only on the track