As a result of gold mining around Daylesford–Hepburn Springs, much of the soil has been disturbed, which has led to many large, woody weed infestations, particularly in the gullies which run through the towns. In many of these places, planned burning is not feasible because there are no boundary tracks and people live close to very high fuel loads.

In 2019–20, the Daylesford-Hepburn Community Based Bushfire Management Committee flagged sites in the Hepburn Regional Park in northern Daylesford as areas of concern. These sites are heavily infested by gorse, broom, blackberries and hawthorn. Removing these weeds would provide environmental benefits and reduce bushfire risk.

FFMVic staff used a multi-terrain (skid steer) loader and a forestry mulcher to successfully treat 40 ha of near-surface and elevated fuel in the Ajax Road–Cobblers Gully area in 2019–20. The loader is good in gully locations, as its tracks put only light pressure on the ground. In other locations, we use excavators with mulching heads to remove weeds, while not damaging the (retained) overstorey.

In 2019–20, we treated over 140 ha of woody weeds in the Daylesford–Hepburn Springs area, with more planned for 2020–21. Weed control is an ongoing process: treated areas need follow-up treatments to stop these exotic weed species from re-establishing.

Ajax Road - Cobblers Gully site, before and after mechanical fuel treatment

Before mechanical fuel treatment

Ajax Road - Cobblers Gully site, before and after mechanical fuel treatmentAfter mechanical fuel treatment

Page last updated: 09/10/20