The first ever "Deep Creek Caper" was held on Sunday 2nd August 2009. The first sunny day in two weeks attracted a crowd of nearly 60 landholders, overseas visitors, friendly dogs and a pet lamb to our walk through several properties in the Summertown/Uraidla district.
Deep Creek is one of the headwaters in the Sixth Creek catchment - not to be confused with the better known one in the National Park of the same name. Our Deep Creek joins Sixth Creek at the bridge at the bottom of Knotts Hill Rd north of Basket Range.
Sunday's Caper was kick-started with port around the brazier at Mc Ewens. The walking tour, though short, was pleasantly soggy and slippery, to the delight of the kids who came along. After our recent dry winters, it was a joy for all of us to walk on lush green slopes, wade through bog and runoff, sometimes sliding on wet clay, to view rare ferns below a busy waterfall and to marvel at the extent of native plantings replacing weed infestations on once blighted sites. Katrina's useful hand-out, with details of this work plus before-and-after colour photos, was a timely reminder to old and new comers alike that it IS possible to make a difference, that enduring change can be achieved; also of the value of clear record keeping as a motivator to keep at it.
The Caper ended with a BBQ at the Bossleys where we enjoyed a feast of food and local wines, and lots of talk. Further food for thought was provided by Cherryville CFS elder Hugh Stewart who shared his thoughts on the coming fire season here, after Victoria's Black Saturday February 7, 2009.
This was declared a very successful first Caper. Many thanks to the cluster of landowners who invited us onto their land and to key members who generously hosted this event. The unexpectedly large number of people who joined the walk may have meant that the social aims overtook its educative function - though a smaller group did go off during lunch for some serious viewing.
The next Caper will be hosted in a few months' time by a Cherryville cluster ie further downstream on Sixth Creek. As we know from the Murray Darling basin, its the actions of our neighbours upstream that impact on those of us downstream, so it is sure to be an interesting day.
Wendy Willow (Cherryville landowner)
Click here to view the "Deep Creek Caper Tour Booklet"
View photos from the Deep Creek Caper here Thanks to Terry Mc Ewen