Ms Penelope Potts from Little River

Field Gnats Trip to Mount Rothwell, Charlie

Last weekend, on Saturday 9th of September, Woodleigh’s Field Gnats headed off to Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre for their last weekend trip to Little River for the year. The bus was filled with the usual buzz of excitement as we arrived at Rothwell in time for a short morning tea break before getting straight to work. We spent the morning taking care of the quolls, dingoes, and curlews – taking particular care around the newly hatched chicks and then headed to a nearby paddock to clear tree guards from previous years’ planting efforts. Lunch was wraps and sandwiches, a tasty break after a long morning. Next, we set to replacing the browse in the Spot-Tailed Quoll pens and weeded the empty quoll and curlew enclosures. We also spent some time setting up wallaby traps through the stony rises which was a brilliant opportunity for us all to take in our beautiful surroundings atop the rocks.

As the sun began to set, we headed back to camp to set up our bedding and start preparing dinner – a Mexican feast of tacos, burritos, and nachos. After a delicious dinner, we all rugged up and walked back to the rocks we had visited earlier to take in the night sky. Unfortunately, it was a bit overcast, but the view was still tremendous as ever as we all lay down upon the rocks to take it all in. We then walked back and snuggled into bed for some much-needed sleep.

The next morning, we were all up early for breakfast, followed by routine animal husbandry. We then took on the difficult task of removing the almost impossible to find, African weed orchard that had taken over many of the paddocks. While undoubtedly hard to find at first, we soon uncovered large patches that we tackled in small groups. The weeding itself was far from fun, but the mood was kept positive thanks to the blasting of all the best musical theatre tracks and lively group discussion. Once we had cleared a large section, we came back to not only feed ourselves, but the hungry animals, and then began to clean up the site and pack our things.

While we were all sad that the weekend was over, we had much to be proud of. Over the course of the weekend, the 14 of us were able to accomplish over 168 hours of conservation work, a brilliant achievement that we are all very satisfied with. We also brought back a new friend, Ms Penelope Potts – an unwell potoroo, who will be joining Barry the glider up at the reserve.

Mount Rothwell was a brilliant experience as always, thanks to an awesome group of students, staff, and alumni! I know we all can’t wait to be back next year to see how our hard work has paid off, but for now are all excited for the upcoming trip to Tiverton in the holidays!

Charlie Russo Year 8