Friends of Lyrebird Forest Walk – June. 2011

I’m pleased to report the Warriors have been busy in spite of the constant rain. The shed got a major tidy-up and makeover, more park bench timbers were dressed in readiness for assembly and installation, more firewood was cut and delivered, plus many other jobs which I’ve failed to notice. Our ranger Bronwyn has also been busy on Parks Victoria’s behalf, providing more ‘volunteer’ jackets and organising the desperately needed repairs to the severely damaged tracks up in the back hills of the Forest, not to mention the ongoing on-site fox eradication program. Phew!

I’m also pleased to note we have added an ex Army Troop Carrier to our equipment inventory (thanks to hawk-eye Bill Morton). Unlike what I imagined (a huge ten ton truck), this Troop Carrier turned out to be a really good second hand 4×4 Toyota of modest dimensions. Last Wednesday I enjoyed my first ride as a passenger. Sadly the original military camouflage had been repainted a less than exciting darkish blue grey; probably a good thing as the Warriors might easily lose a camouflaged vehicle in the Forest. If you spotted the Warriors heading down to the Walk recently, you’d be excused for thinking you observed an Army Reserve Convoy out on manoeuvres. Bristling with happy Warriors, both vehicles were towing trailers laden with all manner of gear. We also had a hefty load of sandy gravel, bags of cement and a bundle of hessian bags (generously donated by a Thorpdale Potato farmer).

Brent Hillman’s ‘Friday Freebie’

Our ‘Mission’ was to recover and restore part of the river walk that was seriously eroded when our lovely babbling brook became a torrent and broke its banks. We made short work of filling and placing lots of Thorpdale Potato Sandbags, making a new bank to retain a few cubic meters of gravel to restore the track back to its former glory. It is rewarding to see this spontaneous type of repair work being achieved – just for the fun of it.

We were even pleased to greet our mate Bruce who showed up to help, although he was on light duties. I’m sure we all appreciate this sort of major repair work being done almost instantly and for free. The Warriors were so eager to get on with the job, John Murray forgot to load our ‘Gourmet Morning Tea’. In disgrace he was dispatched back to the shed to retrieve it. Yes the day certainly carried all the hall-marks of a carefully planned precision military operation.

Speaking of free: Brent Hillman and his wife Friends of Lyrebird Forest Walk Linda run a small contracting business – Total Property Maintenance. Unasked, Brent turned up one Friday at 8 am with a mini excavating machine and put in a full day free of charge clearing out some clogged run-off gutters along the walk that were blocked and prone to flooding. His time and equipment saved us a lot of money and many hours of hard work which otherwise would not have been done for years, if ever. Brent Hillman is already a valuable community volunteer. Thanks Brent for the ‘Friday Freebie’ we certainly classify you as a Wednesday Warrior, even if you turned up on a Friday and out on our famous Wednesday Gourmet Morning Tea and Gossip. I guess to be politically correct, you should call yourself a ‘Friday Warrior’.

Digby Watson. News Facilitator,
Friends of Lyrebird Forest Walk.