Have you walked through the Allen Noble Sanctuary recently?
It is a beautiful and peaceful spot nestled between the Great Ocean Road, the Painkalac Creek Estuary and Split Point at Aireys Inlet.
Photo by Margaret Lacey
Community volunteers from the Aireys Inlet and District Association (AIDA) were originally responsible for its establishment and maintenance and now ANGAIR auspices the Friends of the Allen Noble Sanctuary (FANS) to oversee, with the Surf Coast Shire, the management and planting of this beautiful natural resource.
A happy, dedicated group meet on the fourth Sunday of every month (see calendar entry last page) to remove unwanted weeds and overly vigorous plants and replant seasonally with indigenous species suited to the environment.
The group is very protective of the black swans that nest here every year, sometimes resulting in a family of five or more cygnets.
The sanctuary is also home to a large number of bush and water birds, including the summer migrant Latham’s Snipe, whose conservation status is listed as vulnerable. Nankeen Night Herons have been seen roosting there and Short-finned eels are glimpsed just below the surface. It is a great attraction for tourists and educational for local school children who visit regularly.
It is hoped this community asset will continue to flourish and be a showcase for indigenous flora and fauna.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.