CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY – Sunday 5 March 2023, 10am-12pm
If you are interested in taking part in the Field of Mars site (for members only) – please contact our site coordinator Alfred on 02 9879 6067. Other sites may be found by checking the website https://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/
A public forum on environmental issues for candidates for election in the Seat of Ryde at the NSW state elections will be hosted by our Society on Sunday 19 March at 11.30am in the Environmental Education Centre in the Field of Mars Reserve. Candidates will be asked to give a brief assessment of the current situation and an outline of the policies they would advocate. Questions will then be invited from the audience; discussion will be kept strictly to environmental issues. Everyone welcome - no need to register. The forum will be followed by a salad lunch in the Visitor Centre, to which everyone is invited. The Society's AGM will follow at 2pm. For further information please contact Alfred at email@example.com
Please note that of the two forums announced in Wallumetta and elsewhere for 18 March, the time and date for the one for the Seat of Ryde has been revised as above, and the forum for Lane Cove will not take place.
Annual reports will be presented, and elections will be held for our Management Committee for the coming year. We encourage Society members to consider joining our management team. Afterwards, we will have afternoon tea and the raffle prize-winning ticket will be drawn. All welcome!
Tickets $2 each / 3 for $5 available at the Field of Mars Visitor Centre (when opened).
*Rug hand-knitted and kindly donated to RHHFFPS by the Holy Spirit Yarnknit Group of North Ryde.
When we think about drivers of climate change, we usually think of fossil fuels in electricity, transport and industry. To keep global heating below 1.5 degrees, we will need not only to reduce emissions as much as possible, but also to take carbon out of the atmosphere.
There is currently only one proven technology for removing carbon from the atmosphere and that is protecting and growing plants, including forests, native grasslands, wetlands and natural seaweed forests. The good news is that this will also help to protect and restore our biodiversity and the natural environment.
Australia has cleared 104 million hectares of forest since 1788 (1), so there is plenty to regrow.
In a world trying to reduce carbon emissions, Australia is the only developed country among the top 10 global deforestation hotspots (2). We rank alongside places like the Amazon, the Congo and Sumatra. When we log and clear forests we destroy stable carbon sinks (3), create erosion and dust storms, undermine water systems and cause extinctions. This doesn’t make any sense in a carbon constrained world.
Our dangerously high levels of land clearing are driven by agricultural practices, primarily beef production. Wood production drives the logging of native forests. Both are major sources of carbon emissions and drivers of extinction.
We need to protect the natural environment as a centre piece of the climate change response. With the NSW state election due 25 March it is time to scrutinise not only at the policies of the political parties in respect of the use of fossil fuels but also the policies concerning land clearing, logging and regeneration of our natural environment.
Frank Breen, President
1) Bradshaw CJA, 2012, Little left to lose: deforestation and forest degradation in Australia since European colonisation, Journal of Plant Ecology, Vol 5, Issue 1
2) WWF Deforestation fronts: Drivers and responses in a changing world, 2021
3) If trees that are logged are used for high value, long term items, like rocking chairs or violins, their carbon remains stored in those new objects.
The Society has been active in local conservation issues since 1966 and is well networked with the broader conservation movement across NSW.
The Society's Constitution states its Aims and Objectives as:
a. The education of the members and the community, particularly in the local area, in nature conservation and protection of the environment;
b. To promote ecologically sustainable land use and development;
c. To promote nature conservation including an adequate system of national parks, wilderness areas, nature reserves, wildlife refuges and corridors and urban bushland reserves; adequate protection measures for native wildlife;
d. Achieving satisfactory measures to safeguard the environment from all forms of pollution to ensure clean air, clean water and a healthy environment;
e. To work for the permanent retention and conservation of all natural areas in the local district and an increase in the area set aside for nature conservation and
f. To undertake the management of the Field of Mars Reserve with Ryde City Council as a major conservation project
We have a regular newsletter Wallumetta which is issued six times a year which attempts to update members on both local environmental issues and issues of wider impact. Our volunteer members keep the Visitors Centre open each weekend. Please contact us if you have concerns about threats to our local natural areas and the precious native fauna which depend on our sensitive bushland areas and waterways.
In the mid 1960s, with an increasing amount of waste needing disposal, Ryde Council looked to an expansion of the small tip in the Field of Mars Reserve. Council proposed to pipe Buffalo and Stranger's Creeks to facilitate a landfill area to a depth of up to 15m feet which could then be re-developed into playing fields. Local residents united to form the Anti-tip Action Group and lobbied to reverse Council's plans for a tip at the Field of Mars. The tip was moved to Porter's Creek which to this day still requires substantial funds to control the environmental damage arising from past use as a tipsite. With the Field of Mars saved the Society was established in January 1966.
In September 1966, Ryde Council advised the Society that it agreed to their proposal to development of the Field of Mars Reserve as a flora and fauna sanctuary. Hard work over following decades has seen restoration of old degraded areas of the Field of Mars and protection of the area as a Wildlife Refuge. A Visitors Centre was built and then the Environmental Education Centre which is visited by about 10,000 students each year.
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