26 November 2020
Recent rain has provided opportunity to buffel bust the areas to the north and east of Elsa’s cottage, continuing the work of Elsa, Chris and Nicky who cleared the south and west sides. There is good revegetation occurring in these sections and more easily managed due to central location of the cottage.
Rain means more rubbished is reveal around the whole property, rubbish collection and removal. Also focusing around Chapman House to support the cleaning up inside the house.
Continue to decrease the number of branches and wood piles accumulated on the site in preparation for summer/decrease fire risk to property.
Provide access and communication to ANT constructions/asbestos cleaning crew.
Continue rabbit monitoring and recording in preparation for management
Corrections crew and John Lush have not attended the site this month, I expect they will visit in the coming month.
Preparing to do maintenance on cottage during the summer, repaint the concrete flooring, mend cracked surfaces, clean air conditioner filters.
29 October 2020
Picking up litter inside and outside fence line. The rain means more litter is revealed as top layer of sand is moved round by water
Continue to manage the planted-up section east side of Elsa’s cottage to increase green/decrease heart in summer
Since the rain, have started manually removing buffel in areas of restored native vegetation. Additional are continuing to increase the amount of regenerative bush around Elsa’s cottage. Will begin cutting buffel with whipper snipper before buffel flowers to decrease seed bank in soil.
Provided access and assistance for neighbour Trish and Stephan in removing a spa bath from their property. Stephan is a potential person interested in Pitchi Richi and has some previous engagement with the property.
Continue to decrease the number of branches and wood piles accumulated on the site in preparation for summer/decrease fire risk to property. Large branches on Peppercorn tree have fallen and have been removed.
Kit is monitoring the rabbit population at Bill Lowe’s instructions for pest control. The monitoring is an important step before more management actions can be taken.
Corrections crew and John Lush:
I haven’t seen the crew and John this month. The recent rain means they will have an increased workload but will speak to John about joining the committee when next I speak to him as encourage by Faye.
1 October 2020
Mike Gillam asked for research assistance for an article he was writing which included reference to the work of Leo Corbet and William Ricketts. The article was published on September 1 2020 on Alice Springs News Online and can be read https://alicespringsnews.com.au/2020/09/01/how-quickly-hundreds-become-tens-of-thousands/
Provided a sculpture garden tour to a keen member of the public. He had met and worked for William Ricketts for three days at some point and was delighted to be provided access to the site. He had lots of ideas and I told him to forward them on the committee, he lives in the Northern Rivers of NSW but is visiting Central Australia.
Yard work/wood management:
Continue to decrease the number of branches and wood piles accumulated on the site in preparation for summer/decrease fire risk to property. Delivered wood for one committee member. There is still plenty of firewood available and I am happy to wait to the cool season for people to take up the offer 🙂
General site maintenance:
Picking up litter inside and outside fence line - windy season means more litter, continue to manage the planted-up section east side of Elsa’s cottage to increase green/decrease heart in summer, continue rabbit management on advice of Bill Lowe (covering rabbit holes and marking which barrows are active).
Corrections crew and John Lush:
The corrections crew and John Lush attended for a week earlier in September. They focused on buffel along the fence line in preparation for summer. John Lush is passionate about the property, has he ever been invited to join the committee? He holds a lot of knowledge and interest about Pitchi Rich - if he hasn’t been invited to join the committee before I am happy to raise it with him.
Section of pipe near old site began to leak again. This section of pipe has been ‘fixed’ several times and I fixed it again. The water mains for Chapman House and the gardens are turned off. John Lush turns it on and off when his crew comes onsite. The toilet block remains blocked, so the crew do not stay for extended periods at a time.
27 August 2020
Eco Fair involvement:
The start of the month was ALEC’s Eco Fair. Land for Wildlife did a life stream presentation to nine school groups streaming from the PR sculpture garden. The presentation was on the biodiversity survey conducted earlier in the year on the property. I requested the video for the committee to watch and we are still waiting on the completed biodiversity report. Alice took part in the presentation, introducing Pitchi Richi to a new audience 🙂 One local school group during the Q&A section enquired about a school group tour and Alice requested they email the HAS account to see if that is possible.
Kit and Alice attended a chainsaw maintenance and operating course at Centre for Appropriate Technology. Two chainsaws that HAS owns have been serviced including chain sharpening. Large acacia salicina on fence line has been trimmed back though more work needs doing. Will be calling Power and Water tomorrow to come lop off the branches overhanging the fence line. Alice is completing carpentry course and welding course with Centre for Appropriate Technology, increasing skills. For example, can re-weld the broken wheelbarrow.
Yard work/wood management:
Decreasing the number of branches and wood piles accumulated on the site in preparation for summer/decrease fire risk to property. if anyone on the committee would like a delivery of firewood please let us know and it can be delivered 🙂
General site maintenance:
Picking up litter inside and outside fence line, planting up east side of Elsa’s cottage to increase green/decrease heart in summer, installing shade cloth with wooden uprights on north side of Elsa’s cottage to decrease sunlight on besser bricks during summer, began rabbit management on advice of Bill Lowe (covering rabbit holes and marking which barrows are active).
Alice to request ASTC community development grant money to purchase new wheelbarrow until old one is fixed. Old wheelbarrow was given to site by a friend of Alice’s and it was in used stated when given.
1 May 2020
Since beginning our caretaking at Pitchi Richi we have been keen to collaborate with Land for Wildlife to do a biodiversity survey of the property. The coordinator from Land for Wildlife with assistance from Low Ecological Services staff and the PR caretakers undertook the survey. Initially the survey was to be a community outreach event which members of the public could engage in; due to the COVID-19 pandemic the survey was limited to a small team who maintained social distancing practices. The caretakers now have the skills and knowledge to run a second biodiversity survey in early summer 2020 for community volunteer subject to COVID-19 restrictions. The five-day project included vegetation and flora surveys using transects and quadrats, elliot, funnel and pitfall trapping for mammals, reptiles and invertebrates, timed area searches for birds, and camera trapping and acoustic survey for both birds and echolocating bats. Of interest were several species of small skinks and legless lizards that were caught in the traps and at least nine species of echo-locating bats were detected after preliminary analysis of the bat call recordings. Further analysis of the camera trap images, and bird and bat call data will provide a clearer snapshot of species diversity and abundance on the property. Analysis is ongoing and a detailed report is currently in preparation. This report will sit alongside other site reports to assist with grant applications and document and preserve the social and ecological heritage of the site.
Other items to report to committee:
· There is a plumbing issue next to his caravan which we have been trying to fix. The purchasing of the whipper snipper as per ASTC grant will greatly assist. Roni and I will purchase items once cheques clear
· Significant buffel removal since the rains
· Continued edging of paths and maintenance of sculpture garden
· Provided a sculpture garden tour as per email request through HAS website
· Kally Ansell who resided in Chapman house during the nineties is attending this Saturday to collect some boxes left behind. I will establish a network and see if she is interested in joining in the project in some capacity. She might also be interested in recording some oral history of property which I will connect with Roni about the potential
· Rubbish removal
· There is still significant dead tree material from the extended dry season. We are doing yard work to break it down, use large branches for pathways (similar to Olive Pink) and smaller material for firewood and kindling. If anyone from the committee would like a delivery of wood and kindling let me know and I can drop some off :-)
24 April 2020
We undertook the biodiversity survey this week as planned. It was conducted by the caretakers and Lowe Ecology team members for Land for Wildlife. Kate from Land for Wildlife will do up a report and it will be another tool in our belt for grant applications and recording the important ecological heritage of the site. The caretakers have been preparing for the survey as well as completing other tasks around the property. The corrections team did not have a supply of PPE equipment due to the pandemic and so have not been attending the site. It is excellent news Heritage Alice Springs was awarded the Alice Springs Town Council community development grant as I am looking forward to purchasing the whipper snipper and cut the grass.