Franklin has a new entrance to the town! Big pat on the back for Volunteers

Franklin is a very picturesque town in the Huon Valley south of Hobart and is renowned for its beautiful river views and reflections.

The tranquil Huon River snaking through Franklin

The tranquil Huon River snaking through Franklin

Before the Lake Barrington Rowing Course was developed years ago, the schools’ rowing carnival used to be held there as it is a wide stretch of relatively calm water. It boasts these days of the Wooden Boat School, cafes and a surrounding fruit growing region rapidly transitioning from apples to cherries.

It also boasts of some great volunteers who have worked not only to stop the Palais Theatre from being demolished but also to restore it as a community asset.

The entrance to the town used to be a bit shabby with blackberries having grown up to obscure the river views, so the local landcarers took the matter in hand.

Landcare volunteers Alan and Loris Patman walking the revegetated riverbank

Landcare volunteers Allan and Loris Patman walking the revegetated riverbank

They worked with the Understorey Network to learn how to propagate native plants, recruited the services of a local timber worker who built some lovely natural bench seats and set about clearing the weeds and planting natives along the river bank.It is now a work in progress with a walking track in place and a picnic spot under construction.

Native grass growing well

Native grass growing well

The plants have grown amazingly well in the past few years and provide habitat for native birds. Just across the water is Egg Island, recently purchased by the Tasmanian Land Conservancy as a precious wetland. It has never been developed and is a fantastic habitat for snakes…no wonder it has never been developed. The work clearing weeds along the river bank is an added protection for Egg island from weed incursion.

Thousands of dollars worth of volunteer hours have been invested in rehabilitation of this river bank so it is no wonder the locals are alarmed by the decision to cut funding for Caring for Our Country and Land Care in this year’s Federal Budget. As a nation there is so much restoration of our ecosystems that must be done as we are losing species at a great rate, it is very disheartening when the efforts of those who are getting on with the job are so undervalued. At least locally we can give them a bouquet..natives of course.

Protected wetland, Egg Island in the background

Protected wetland, Egg Island in the background

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