Field day rings the bells of learning
24 May 2017
A recent field day at Thurgoona, near Albury, provided an active demonstration of the intrinsic and ongoing value of travelling stock reserves (TSRs) to people and the environment.
More than 70 people, including many local schoolchildren, attended the day at Bells TSR to learn about the various roles TSRs play in stock movements, habitat protection, cultural awareness and recreation.
The day was a collaboration between Murray Local Land Services, Holbrook Landcare Network, Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, local Aboriginal Elders and the Green Army.
TSR Ranger with Murray Local Land Services, Phill Falcke, said the event included a site tour with Wiradhuri elders Uncle Tunny and Uncle Walter, who showed the visitors how their ancestors lived, using the food and resources available in the bush.
“In the past, the Wiradhuri established and maintained pathways in the area that were essential for economic, social and spiritual life, and were often used for moving between camps,” he said.
“Many of these were considered by early British colonists as ideal stock reserves, and they now form part of the TSR network that exists today.”
The event also included a ‘walk and talk’ with local ecologist Ian Davidson, who pointed out indigenous plants and wildlife and spoke about the importance of the habitat corridors formed by the TSR network that make it easier for animals, plants and insects to move across the landscape.
The day concluded with a show by upper Murray stockman, Tim O’Brien, from Boggy Creek Shows, who demonstrated the traditional horse and dog handling techniques of the early drovers who used the TSR network to take animals to market.
Mr Falcke said TSRs were positioned on parcels of Crown land 8-12 kms apart (about a day’s ride), forming a string of camp sites all the way from the grazing lands to market.
“Today TSRs still have a role as an alternative food resource for stock, but are also commonly used for recreational pursuits such as picnics, bushwalking, fishing and mountain bike riding,” he said.
“Thanks to the field day, a new generation is now aware of their value in the landscape.”