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NHAG Articles

Prevent Cinnamon Fungus in our Reserves



A sinister invader Cinnamon Fungus (Phytophthora cinnamomi) is a microscopic, soil borne pathogen (disease causing organism) that attacks and destroys plant root systems causing plants to die through lack of water and nutrients. Patches of dead or dying vegetation can indicate the presence of this silent killer and grass trees are particularly susceptible. It is spread through infected plants and the movement of contaminated soil and gravel, and there is no known cure.


Easily spread

While the pathogen can spread locally through soil or water via tiny swimming spores, it is more commonly spread through the movement of contaminated soil and gravel carried by vehicle or foot traffic. It can also be spread through infected plant material and potting mix.


Kinglake National Park                                                                            

Cinnamon Fungus has been introduced to Kinglake National Park by infected soil on vehicles.  It is on our doorstep and you can help prevent it from infesting our reserves with a few simple actions.

   Ω   Avoid riding in Wetter Months

   Ω   Before riding pick out the hooves.

   Ω   In your vehicle, back pack or saddle bag have a hoof pick, hard bristle     

         brush and spray bottle of anti-fungal solution. 

   Ω  At the end of your ride and BEFORE leaving the park make sure you:

        Pick out the hooves.

        Brush out any excess soil

        Spray with anti fungal solution


These simple actions will ensure you do not bring home more than wonderful experience in the bush

Poem - "A parent's worst nightmare"

By Lawrence Webb


A shady path in Hurstbridge lies, it carries a young girl’s name,

Reminder to a child’s loss, and we were all to blame.

We knew our winding lanes were full, more traffic from outside,

We knew, and yet we didn’t act, until a young girl died.


Four months from then we built the path, community as one,

Yet twelve years on we’re closing trails, is justice being done?

For while our roads are still the same, the traffic now has changed,

We’re firmly on the tourist path and in the city’s range.


Most every month a parent stops, sick worry through their core,

A horse is bolting rider-less; they go to see the score.

Loose stirrups beat upon its flanks, the horse is running wild,

There’s someone lying by the road, pray God it’s not my child.


A host of local children have grown with horses, bikes and larks.

We should be glad they play outside - healthy people, healthy parks!

But they have to play in safety, and as parents that’s our task,

And there’s got to be a balance, half the tracks is all we ask.


Before you close these trails I ask you walk that young girl’s Way,

And ask yourself, in twenty years, what will the children say?

And ask yourself, in twenty years when roads are busier still,

How many paths with children’s names will wind round Panton Hill?


KEEP US SAFE PHBRS Recreational Plan Submission Aug 2010

This is a unique DVD submission sent to Nillumbik Council in August 2010 from the young people in the community in response to the Panton Hill Bushland Reserves Draft Recreational Policy Position & Trails.

Dear Councillor's from NHAG Feb 2011


This is a presentation by NHAG for the councillors of Nillumbik regarding the Panton Hill Bushland Reserve Draft Management Plan.


Tips for riding shared trails


While we all enjoy the shared recreation trails and rural roads/roadsides of Nillumbik, from time to time mountain bike riders and horse riders will come into contact at close quarters. To make those encounters enjoyable for both parties, here are a few tips to consider:


1/   Horses are flight animals and if frightened can react on occasion by shying, rearing, kicking out or running from the ‘killer bike’, so when you meet a horse rider it helps to slow down or preferably stop. It helps even more if you call out and say “hello” so that the horse understands that ‘it’ is just a human, and if you happen to have a carrot in your back pocket along with your gel sachet and puncture kit, you can make a friend for life.


2/   Many of the trails we share are single track with blind corners and foliage that can block the view of the trail ahead.  As bikes are the faster moving user, if riders are looking down at the trail just in front of them, they can suddenly be upon another trail user either coming in the opposite direction or directly in front of them. So to avoid having a close encounter (of a possibly unpleasant kind), please ride according to the trail conditions.


3/   If you have sighted a horse rider before they have sighted you, please let them know you are on the trail/road by calling out “bike coming through” or even better “hey good looking” (many horse riders are women over 40, so they may well appreciate the compliment). Apologies in advance to those biker gals amongst you, there just aren’t many fellas to share around from our ranks! 


And for the younger bikers, please make sure the iPod volume is low enough that you can still hear someone calling out - better still, leave one of the ear pieces out.


4/  Most horse riders understand that Saturday and Sunday early am are the prime usage time for mountain bike riders, and generally try to avoid using the trails at this time for the benefit of all. However, this is not always practical (especially in Summer), as we all like to ride before the heat of the day. So please be aware that no matter what the time of day, you may come across a horse and rider.


5/  To prevent possible damage to vegetation we strongly discourage horse riders from leaving the trails, so would be grateful if you could give way to horses and move off the trail while they quietly walk past you.


6/ It is worthwhile knowing that most of the horse riders in this area are local residents who have been riding these trails and roadside verges for decades. So if you get a little lost or need a hand, just ask and they are likely to be more than willing to help if they can - and if they aren’t,  you have just met the odd one….... and all groups have them!


Horse riders really appreciate your cooperation and trail camaraderie, and look forward to saying “hi” when we meet out on the trails. Some common sense, a little courtesy and a bit of humour on everyone’s part (remember your backside can look as large in lycra as ours do in jodhpurs), will go a long way to making an enjoyable and safe recreational experience for all. 


                                                                            THANK YOU


Nillumbik Horse Action Group Inc.                                                                                                                                

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