Our first End to End Maintenance program weekend

Adrian Rogers, one of the team of Maintenance volunteers, replacing a marker plate in the Deep Creek Conservation Park

The Friends new End to End Maintenance program commenced on the Mother’s Day weekend with a two day camp based at Cape Jervis.  Twelve volunteers plus the section leader Albert Schmidke and his colleague, Richard Triggs worked on the Trail between Cape Jervis and Tapanappa in Deep Creek Conservation Park.

The weather was perfect for maintenance work although the chill breeze later in the afternoon was piercing.  As a result we had two full days of hard work maintaining the trail.  There was plenty of pruning, plating and posting – large amounts of undergrowth needed to be cut back, many old plates had faded and needed to be replaced and several new marker posts were erected to help walkers on their way.

As a result, the first two sections on the trail are in good order and ready for the onslaught from End to End 12 this coming weekend.

Working through two End to End sections in the one weekend proved to be a considerable challenge.  While the team coped very well and the majority of the planned maintenance work was completed, some sections were a little light on as far as pruning is concerned.

The team celebrated on the Saturday night with a very pleasant dinner in the Cape Jervis Tavern.  Seven local guests attended the dinner in an effort to build relationships with local communities.  Their responses were very positive which suggests that this initiative may assist us to enhance the reputation of the Trail and generate positive local interest.

Overall the feedback from all of the volunteers and our dinner guests has been very positive. We have received several constructive suggestions about how we can improve arrangements for our maintenance next camp to be held on June 17 and 18..

For that trip we will be moving along the trail from Tapanappa to Waitpinga. If you are interested in joining the maintenance group for that weekend, you can check the details and register via the Walk Calendar on our website.

For more information on the End to End Maintenance can be found in this bulletin

It’s Volunteer Week — huge thanks to everyone that volunteers within the Friends of the Heysen Trail.

End to End 5 group plant 600 trees at Duttons Trough

It’s commonly known that volunteers are the lifeblood of many community organisations.   I’ve rapidly come to appreciate the broad scope of activities essential to getting people out walking on the Heysen Trail.

So thank you to all our volunteers for your tireless efforts helping to develop, maintain and promote this wonderful trail – no mean feat when you consider it’s 1200km … not just a walk in the park.

There are many different ways that volunteers contribute to the Friends of the Heysen Trail:

  • Monday to Friday the office is buzzing with enthusiasm – most importantly answering phone and walk-in inquiries, assisting with walk registrations, keeping the correspondence up to date and a myriad of administrative activites;
  • Walking – every single weekend dozens of leaders are taking new and not-so-new members out and about on End-Ends, day and introductory short walks.  It takes a lot of hidden preparatory work and energy doing pre-walks, checking trail status, coordinating transport, keeping a group informed and then merrily navigating the correct track;
  • Maintenance – none of us would be walking so easily if the quiet achievers delivering the trail development & maintenance didn’t exist: on your next walk give a little thought to the section leaders and teams that ensure the markers are in place, vegetation is cleared etc. Remember, if you do see an issue along your track, to take a photo/location/details and pass it on to your walk leader or the office;
  • Greening – not all the trees spring up of their own accord, but rather another busy team has planted, watered and nurtured hundreds of trees along parts of the Heysen Trail which boosts the environment and amenity for the rest of us;
  • The Trailwalker Magazine keeps our members informed but also acts as signature promotion for the Heysen and to encourage members to keep walking and contributing;
  • Marketing and promotion is also a challenging task carried out by several volunteers, including our prolific facebook/social media and website material – not to underestimate the important benefit of our on-line facility – the Friends have a website that is truly the envy of other organisations;
  • Finances – where would be without the number-focused people who ensure that the dollars add up so that the Friends meet its requirements for record-keeping and auditing.

The list is not exhaustive and there always seems to be people ready to step in when needed such as the recent Hiking Expo – staffing the stall, handing out material, leading the come-and-try walks and clean up.

Thanks to everyone who volunteers their time in whatever capacity – it all makes a difference.

Melanie Sjoberg

President