Blackberry clean-up viewed in Merton field day

STEMMING THE TIDE: Webster Contracting uses a Terrex Positrack combination of a heavy duty forest style mulcher together with an appropriate herbicide to remove blackberry infestations.

MANY Victorian properties have significant areas of blackberries along water courses, where bushes can be several metres high and extend over significant areas.

Their removal often defies many farmers, and its challenge usually means the infested area will not be restored to permanent pasture.

The Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT) works on a partnership basis to inform, encourage and support several community action groups seeking to reduce blackberry infestation.

Established in 2013, the Merton-Cathkin Blackberry Action Group is working across Murrindindi and Mansfield shires in conjunction with landowners under voluntary agreements to control or remove these infestations.

In its relatively short history, more than 50 landowners have joined in the project with some 500 hectares of blackberries treated to date.

The group has a project officer, Cam Paterson, funded by the VBT, who is working with landowners and conducting trials using a combination of either chemical (herbicides) or mechanical means of treatment.

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