Monthly Archives: January 2015

Australian landscapes: Mary White’s contribution towards our understanding of them.

The Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog is a collaborative effort. We’re happy to publish your contributions as part of this Landcare Network discussion. See the collaborate-contribute page for a range of topic suggestions or get in touch to discuss your idea.

The following is a new post from Mr. Colin Samundsett. Colin was raised on the Atherton Tablelands and became a surveyor by trade, but also cultivated an expertise in rainforest structure and species. A nursery man and tree planter by avocation, also a wood turner and expert with axe, adze and scarfing hoe. Here Colin introduces and reviews an important series of books produced over several years by Australian Paleobotanist and author Mary White.



 Australian landscapes:

Mary White’s contribution towards  our understanding of them.

By Colin Samundsett

Australia’s first wave of immigrants, their descendants and those supplementing them, wrestled with turbulent changes for 50 or 60 millennia. What the first European immigrants saw on their arrival was a between-rounds pause, the last, in an enduring bout with those changes. It was a time of remarkable adjustment between the landscape and the Europeans’ predecessors. But, the continent’s fundamental geology and geomorphology remained unchanged.

Scottish migrant Peter Dodds McCormick, Sydney resident for 23 years, believed he had enough knowledge of his new country to pen a song about it: his Advance Australia Fair’s first public delivery in 1878 declared “…For those who’ve come across the seas we’ve boundless plains to share…”. Well, we’re sharing it with 21 million more than he was then; and there’ll be another million in four years from now. But, do we really understand just what we are sharing?

We have learned much about this land since 1878, and Paleobotanist Mary White has synthetised it admirably. She provides a wealth of information on how it is, and how it came to be; all in very readable style with five books. Continue reading

Non-nativist progress.

Hi all,

This post represents a bit of a recap and update on where things are at.

Experienced participants/observers can skip the following background and overview if desired and go straight to the list of group/blog activity updates below.

Background and overview

Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group is a grassroots community of people who wish to improve the health, productivity and ecological well-being of Country. This is the mission of most Landcarers: ‘caring for the land‘. Our group is particularly focused upon the urban and peri-urban riparian zones within Braidwood, NSW (especially the existing plants and animals of the non-nativist forest along Flood Creek).

Dense vegetation at Flood Creek

Flood Creek riparian vegetation

Beyond this, we also have an interest in issues that emerge in association with caring for this very ‘altered’ environment. Broadly speaking, the group has a role in examining (and hopefully reformulating) presently-dominant nativist focuses and practices in Landcare and environmentalism in Australia. Continue reading

The Crucial Roles of Willows in Sustainable River Management

This post really requires a drum role or fanfare.

With permission, I am posting a scanned copy of ‘The Crucial Role of Willows in Sustainable River Management’, by Professor Haikai Tane. I will also lodge this in our useful publications page.

Click on the image below to download the PDF.

CRW 1_2

This is an excellent resource for anyone seeking to explore the reality of willows within an ecological-thinking perspective (as opposed to a reductively-compartmentalised nativist one). The research presented is mainly based on a New Zealand environmental context, but there are obvious parallels with the Australian situation. There is ample food for thought for Landcarers here. Continue reading

Our Hero Nativist. (Or how the Australian Humanist of the Year 2005 has made my family miserable and set back riverine repair by decades)

The Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare Group blog is a collaborative effort. We’re happy to publish your contributions as part of this Landcare Network discussion. See the collaborate-contribute page for a range of topic suggestions or get in touch to discuss your idea.

Here’s a new post from Mr. Peter Marshall (see introduction and background here), in which he points out that even our most respected scientists are sometimes liable to provide poorly-reasoned nativist prejudice in place of rational ecological assessment and objective science.



Our Hero Nativist.  (Or how the Australian Humanist of the Year 2005 has made my family miserable and set back riverine repair by decades)

Had yet another Field Day at our place recently. The usual inspiring, educational, well catered for gift of a day from my family to the Landcare world. But there was hostile body language and muttered comments from one group when viewing a stand of Heritage Cricket Bat Willows (single sex, non invasive, far from water courses).

As we were making our goodbyes the alpha male of the group stepped forward. He said, “Tim Flannery thinks you are a horrible person!” then turned and ran up the bus steps. A real downer for my hospitable family after an exhausting few days. Continue reading

Biological Restoration Methods report

We have added a new page to the blog. This page will host useful written reports and other information related to productive land management and repair, and to other topics of general relevance to Flood Creek Non-Nativist Landcare.

The first of these reports has been generously provided to us by Mari Korhonen who lived and worked in our region for several years, learning from a number of experienced land managers. The report provides a useful overview of historic stream degradation in southeast Australia, outlines some of the processes involved and discusses practical biological restoration methods.   Continue reading