Trail Development News, Bulletin 12, September 2019

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

An update on recent new trail infrastructure and trail maintenance work undertaken by our vital volunteers. Below is a schedule of maintenance events – new volunteers welcome,

Our volunteers undertake installation of infrastructure and trail maintenance work. All equipment, including personal protection equipment, is provided by The Friends. Volunteers will be allocated tasks to match their level of competence and confidence. If required, specific training can be arranged.

Refer to the Volunteer Support Policy for information on recognition of volunteers as well as reimbursement of expenses. To register your interest in any of these events, please click on the hyper link in the Calendar of Maintenance events below or look for Maintenance events listed in the Walk Calendar on our website.

Calendar of Maintenance Events

Regular Shed Maintenance days are held on Thursdays at our Cobbler Creek facility, off Bridge Road Salisbury East in Cobbler Creek Recreation Park.

You don’t have to be an expert handy person to join in.

With the completion of the Black Jack Hut project, Colin is now restocking our timber supplies and cutting lengths to make marker posts and stile steps and uprights. We are also testing the production of a new metal stile design. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to weld – now is your chance.

Please register by clicking on the link for the event below or by contacting the Office. Registration helps us anticipate numbers and also to plan jobs.

October
Thurs 3rd The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 10th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 17th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 24th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Fri 25th – Sun 27th E2E Maintenance Greenock to Huppatz Hut

The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently installed fencing between Greenock & Kapunda. We will also be marking a minor reroute of the trail through the township of Kapunda. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome. The event will be based at Riverton. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends. See further information in the item below.

Thurs 31st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
November
Thurs 7th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 14th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 21st The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek
Thurs 28th The Friends Shed Maintenance Day – Cobbler Creek

End to End Maintenance – Greenock to Huppatz Hut

Please note the change of date – Friday October 25 to Sunday October 27.

Dom Henschke will be leading the next event on our End to End Trail Maintenance program and is looking for volunteers to assist.  All volunteers will be welcome.

The event continues the work on this section that was commenced in October last year – keeping the trail in good nick is a never-ending job, so we need help for this trip. The major work will be to install and upgrade stiles across recently erected fencing between Greenock & Kapunda that was identified by the E2E13 walking group. Other jobs will include installing assist poles at a series of stiles along a road reserve between Gerkie & Webb Gaps.

We expect that the work will be completed by early afternoon on Sunday. Volunteers able to attend on only some days are welcome.

The event will be based at Riverton. The Friends will be hiring a 4WD vehicle, but you will need transport to get to Greenock/Riverton. However, if that is a problem, we may be able to arrange transport as well.

Suggested accommodation options are the Riverton Caravan Park (bookings have been made for 2 cabins), or the Riverton Hotel. There is no cost to attend an E2EM event and there will be a complimentary dinner arranged for Saturday night. An accommodation subsidy for Friday and Saturday night and a fuel subsidy will be provided by the Friends.

If you register, Dom will contact you via email with details of accommodation reservations, the meeting location and times for each day.

SECTION NEWS

Grandpa’s Camp gets a platform – Julian Monfries

Following the recent realignment of the Trail over Little Mount Crawford, the crew moved south to Grandpa’s Camp, near Cudlee Creek.

The new platform at Grandpa’s August 2019.

The team, consisting of apprentices, Colin Edwards, Dom Henschke, Paul Bond and Julian Monfries and true workers, Adam Matthews, Mark Curtis, Neil Rivett, Peter Fosdike and Robin Sharland. After some faffing around to get levels correct, installed the platform beside the existing shelter.

The team also examined the water tank. They found the water to be good, however the gutter was desperately in need of a clean, the gutter guard having failed gloriously.To top it off, they submitted a new report about the tank on the Cudlee Creek North/Grandpas camp site listing on the Accommodation page.

More platform rollouts are programmed with two to be installed very soon at Stony Creek and Wilmington, along with a replacement of the tank at Stony Creek, due to the water being fouled.

Platform installed at Marschalls Hut – Dom Henschke

Walker’s Platform, installed at Marschalls Hut, September 2019.

As part of the preparation for the October End to End Maintenance trip, a small team of volunteers visited Marschall’s Hut last week.

As well as checking on the rainwater tank, the team installed a walker’s platform in front of the hut – see the picture to the right.

Thanks to Colin Rozman, Rick Price and Martin Chapman who did most of the work on the day. You can see they had sloping ground to contend with, but the assistance of our dumpy level , they made sure you won’t roll off the edge. Well done, team.

 

Updating the Heysen Trail Google map & the website gpx file – Dom Henschke

The Department of Environment & Water has advised us that the stock of Heysen Trail Sheet Maps is running low. So the maps are being revised and will be reprinted soon.

We would like the new maps to be as accurate and as up to date as possible, so we are working on a project to update the HT Google map and the website gpx file. This were last revised on 7 July 2016 there are a number of new re-routes to be catalogued. We have collated most of them but we are missing a gpx file for the following section:

  • Walk 40 – Wirrabara to Block 9 Road. This walk contains a minor reroute along the Sheep yard Track that was established in July 2015.

If you have a track of your walk along that section, please send it by email to the Trail Development Committee at the Office

Thanks to walkers submitting campsite & tank reports – Dom Henschke

In late July we published a website news item ‘Tanks – an unreliable water source for walkers’ (and sent an email to Trail Development subscribers) asking for your help.

Thanks to the many walkers who have responded to the call. We have received nearly 50 comments on a wide range of campsites and tanks, particularly those in the more remote northern section of the trail. These comments have been published on the website Accommodation list and form a valuable resource to intending walkers and our Office volunteers.

Check the More info including Google map section at the bottom of each location.

Do you have the time to help keep our website up to date?

As you can see from the last 2 items, not all of the Trail Development work is done ‘out on the trail’.

The Friends website provides a great deal of information for our members doing End to End walks as well as walkers from interstate and overseas. The Office often gets news of trail closures,  re-routes, changes to fire danger seasons and requests for updates to the accommodation list.  It takes a bit of effort to keep this information up to date.

If you have an interest in helping us in this work, there are a number of jobs that you can do at home in your own time.  If you would like to help, we’d like to hear from you. Simply send an email to the Office and we will find a job to suit you. We can provide training in WordPress, the publishing software that we use on the website. It isn’t too difficult to use.

Our next issue

The next meeting of the Trail Development Committee will be held on October 14th. Keep your eye out for the next issue of the Trail Development News sometime after that. Remember – if you have ideas or comments please send them through to the Office.

Introduction to Walk Leader Training Night. Tuesday 8th Oct 2019.

A Friends Trailstarter walk at Hallett Cove Conservation Park

Have you ever thought you’d like to become a Walk Leader with the Friends of the Heysen Trail?

Have you got a favourite short walk that you would like to share with others?

Well, here’s your chance to see what goes on, on and off the trail.

In a low key evening we will run through the basics of being a leader and how you can get involved.

Being a walk leader is a rewarding way of sharing your favourite walks with others and a great way to get involved with the Friends. With an increasing number of members, we have more walkers keen to ‘get out on a trail’. We need new leaders prepared to show others the way.

So if this is something you’d like to hear more about, we’d love to see you on the night.

The evening is the first step in joining our team of walk leaders. The Walk Committee will offer you further support and assistance and help you plan and lead walks. An experienced leader will accompany you on your first walk.

If you are interested come on and give it a try. There is no pressure – attending does not oblige you to lead walks.

How

Just go to the walks calendar on the website and register as you would for a normal walk.

Where

Woodville Bowling Club, Oval Avenue,  Woodville South.

When

Time-7.00 to 9:00pm, including a Tea Break.

If you have any questions, please send an email to the Office and one of the leaders will contact you. You can also use the red text hyper link on the walk description to email the leaders directly..

Access to off-track walking may be under threat in the Flinders Ranges and beyond – Pastoral Act Review

Maybe a slightly alarmist subject line, but possibly the case. Walkers ability to access pastoral leases may change, with changes to the way pastoral leaseholders are allowed to manage the land, read on.

The info below has been provided by Walking SA, and is being sent to members of the Friends of the Heysen Trail so they have the information, and can then completed the survey if they have the interest. (many sections of the survey will not be applicable to walkers, so answer “no comment” where applicable). A thorough survey response might take 20-30mins. At the bottom of this email is a table of relevant questions from the survey. The closing date for comments has been extended to 5pm Monday 30 September 2019.

This is of keen interest to FoHT members who undertake extra-circular walks further north, and for any planned FoHT northern trips away. The Friends are with Walking SA in wanting to retain the right to walk through the pastoral country as has been our right since settlement. Sure there will likely be some areas with no, or restricted, access to allow for tourism, cultural sensitivities, or mining activities, yet this should not restrict activity outside those limited, defined areas.

Review of Pastoral Act may impact access for recreational bushwalkers in the Flinders Ranges

What is the issue?

The State Government is seeking input in order to review the Pastoral Act.

Much of the land in the Flinders Ranges north of Hawker is not private freehold land but instead is leased from the State Government to pastoralists to undertake grazing ventures[i], and recognises the rights of Aboriginal people.

As the land is leased, people can undertake recreational off-trail bushwalking in these remote locations. They must notify the lessee of their intentions to walk, and the lessee can only deny access in certain scenarios.

To clarify, by “off-trail bushwalking” we often mean following old vehicle tracks, or walking in a low impact environment, and can include camping for a few nights.

The Act also provides what are called Public Access Routes (PARs), which are often used by 4WDers for recreational use. They will likely probably remain, but our concerns are for access to other lands not part of PARs.

How could changes to Pastoral Act impact on recreational bushwalking? What are our concerns?

Heysen Trail closure through the Buckaringa Sanctuary, Friday 13th September to Monday 16th September 2019.

Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby at Buckaringa Wildlife Sanctuary in the Flinders Ranges.

The Buckaringa Sanctuary will be temporarily closed during the second weekend in mid September . As the Heysen Trail passes through the sanctuary, we advise walkers to consider the closure if planning to walk in the area.

The planned closure is:

  • Friday evening 13th September to Monday morning 16th September 2019.

The closure is because the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) will be undertaking feral animal control in the sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to many Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies.

The sanctuary is located between Quorn and Hawker. You can find it on map 6, chapter 4, of the Heysen Trail Northern Guidebook and on Sheet Map 7b – Dutchmans Stern Conservation Park to Mernmerna Creek.

AWC will place closure signs at all entry points to the sanctuary to warn walkers of the danger.