We can see the difference. The physical results are there. And the awareness is going to be ongoing.

We can see the difference. The physical results are there. And the awareness is going to be ongoing … in the particular valley I’m very involved with; we’ve made a remarkable difference in just 12 months. I can see the areas we’ve had the opportunity to have treated and you can see the benefits of removing those infestations.

 

– Peter, Chair of W&SBAG

 

In the wake of the 2009 Black Saturday fires, blackberry has reinfested large tracts of the Whittlesea region. Since 2017, Whittlesea Council has been working with the Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG) to tackle blackberry problems in the region. In doing so, it has supported a more integrated, landscape-scale approach to these problems and a renewal of community-based land management.

W&SBAG emerged from work by local concerned landholders and the City of Whittlesea. While the group started small, Chair of the group, Peter, notes that it is gradually growing.

Even though it is early days for W&SBAG, momentum is building. Peter, acknowledged that it took some time to get everyone on board and to get a clear direction. Starting small and being patient is important.

Learn about how the Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group are tackling blackberry management on an ongoing basis in their area.

 

LESSONS AND THE IMPACT OF THEIR WORK

Even though it is early days for W&SBAG, momentum is building. Peter acknowledged that it took some time to get everyone on board and to get a clear direction. Starting small and being patient is also important:

 

‘Perseverance is important because it takes time. But now it’s really taking off. And we needed that rst season so people could see results … people are at their letterboxes talking about this Chris guy who is walking the streets. The communication is really happening. Even now we’ve got a number of people lined up for next season. So over three years we might be able to make a big difference.’

 

At an individual level, local resident Pam also highlighted the importance of persistence and the need to have a plan. Having had contractors spray the blackberry plants on her land, she has spent considerable time hand pruning the dead thickets back to the new growth – ‘it’s not going to kill it but next spring I can get to the shoots out of the ground and it can go into the roots. And that’s the plan’.

 

Learn about how the Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group are tackling blackberry management on an ongoing basis in their area. A copy of the case study – TACKING BLACKBERRY 2: WHITTLESEA AND SURROUNDS BLACKBERRY ACTION GROUP, and the accompanying CASE STUDY VIDEO are both available in the RESOURCES section of the VBT website.