The Latrobe Valley FNC hosted the SEANA Spring 2010 gathering of field naturalists over the extended weekend of Friday 15th – Monday 18th October, based at Camp Rumbug, Foster North. The program of excursions, talks and displays was well received by 102 participants and some additional folk who came along for individual activities. Some came from far afield – we welcomed two South Australians, members of the Naracoorte-Lucindale Field Naturalists Society, and several naturalists from the Sunraysia and Albury/ Wodonga clubs, for instance.
Facing up to the intermittently rainy and blustery weather, as field naturalists do, participants chose from twenty-one full and half day excursions offered across Saturday and Sunday and from four Monday morning options. Along with a range of excursions in Wilsons Promontory NP, areas visited included Duck Point near Yanakie, Bald Hills and Tarwin Lower, Walkerville – for both heathland plants and coastal geology, Mt Nicoll and Mt Hoddle, bushland reserves around Foster, the Toora bird hide, Agnes Falls, Port Albert’s Old Port Trail, McLaughlins Beach and the Won Wron Forest – for a feast of orchids. There was also an opportunity to join the Friends of Morwell NP for their annual Koala count on the Sunday afternoon.
The Monday morning excursions focused on the Inverloch-Wonthaggi region, taking in the Screw Creek coastal trail, the Bunurong cliffs, the Wonthaggi Heathlands and Baxters Wetlands..Many of the excursions were ably led by club members, but we owe special thanks to the “South Gippslanders” Mary Ellis, Terri Allen, Jenny Rejske, Gary Wallis, Susan Taylor, Eulalie Brewster and geologist Harley Veitch who so willingly and enthusiastically strengthened the program’s focus on the region to our south.
To introduce the celebratory theme of the LVFNC’s 50th anniversary year as part of the Friday evening welcome to the camp, Ken Harris gave an excellent presentation based on the ninety or so best-rated photographs from the club’s recent successful competition, and camp planning working party convenor Phil Rayment gave a short talk on the club’s first fifty years. On Saturday evening, geologist Gary Wallis gave a masterly and well-illustrated talk on the geomorphology and geology of South Gippsland. The Sunday evening speaker was Duncan Malcolm AM, the widely respected first Chair of the Gippsland Coastal Board, who set out for us the considerable management challenges facing Gippsland’s coasts, not least being the greatly accelerated erosion processes expected as a consequence of sea level rise.