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O.F.F. TURNS 50!

Founded on 7th December 1955 O.F.F. celebrated it's 50th birthday on 7th December 2005 with a picnic in Oatley Park. To mark the occasion, the Myra Walled Garden was replanted by O.F.F. members.

> View larger photo image
> View dinner celebrations 21.10.05 photo gallery
> Read 50th Anniversary Newsletter



field day 2 July 2005

The planned walk from Glenbrook Station to Euroka Clearing had to be cancelled as heavy rain of the previous days had flooded Glenbrook Causeway and no-one was allowed through.

So the walk was shifted to the Historic Lapstone Bridges track to the north of Glenbrook. Train cancellations and members' holidays meant a smaller than usual attendance (only 10 people), but it was a great day weather-wise and most interesting discovering new areas.

> View walk report and photo gallery

Our first known sighting of a Jabiru in the Georges River area was made a few weeks ago by Debbie Andrew. Her spectacular photograph of this magnificent bird was taken at the Illawong Point mudflats. Before about 1960, Jabirus were reasonably common in coastal areas of Northern and Eastern Australia (north of Sydney), and also in New Guinea, Indonesia and South-east Asia. Since then, however, they have declined seriously in all these areas except Northern Australia which is their last stronghold. They have been listed as endangered in NSW where only about 40 pair remain. An unusual feature of Jabirus is that the eyes of adult males are dark brown while those of adult females are bright yellow. The specimen sighted near Oatley was clearly a female.

Photo by Debbie Andrew Copyright 2005
Story from notes by Debbie Andrew and David Waterhouse.



Forest walk near Berry
field day 2 April 2005

A short steep walk up the Illawarra Escarpment at Wood Hill with some level sections and splendid views. Total distance about 4 km return.

> View walk report and photo gallery

field day 2 October 2004

Despite light showers and forecasts of more wet weather, 11 OFF members took part in a very interesting and rewarding walk along the Benowie Track in the Hornsby area.

> View walk report and photos

Photos by Jan Douglas Copyright 2004


field day 31 July 2004

Happily for 14 O.F.F. members at the field day on 5th March, the forecast of rain was wrong and walking conditions were good. Features of the walk included:

> View walk report and photo gallery

field day 29 May 2004

On Saturday, May 29, eighteen OFF members set out from the bus stop at Palm Beach for a leisurely two kilometre walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.
> View walk report and photos

Ecoscaping your garden is the natural way to go-honouring the life around us and facilitating its survival. Botanists, horticulturalists and permaculturalists have had a stranglehold on gardens since time immemorial but their time has come to move over and make room for more than just plants and food.
> Read Bob Crombie's article

mid-week field day 13 April 2004

On 13th April, led by Keith Robinson, 14 members walked through the streets of Birchgrove to examine the many historic features of the area.
> View walk report

field day 3 April 2004

It was a beautiful autumn day for our walk along the Illawarra coast, hot enough for swimmers and picnickers to be out, but pleasant enough for the group of 16 OFF members to enjoy the views, wave-washed rock platforms and beaches along the way.
> View walk report and photos

The latest major threat to Botany Bay and Georges River is a proposal to greatly extend the container facilities at Port Botany. This may complete the destruction of the few remaining good habitat areas of the Bay such as Penrhyn Inlet and Towra Point. The proposed Extension would double the number of large ships entering the Bay, greatly increase road traffic congestion and enclose the endangered waterbird habitat of Penrhyn Estuary. The resulting impacts would be significant.

Yet the Environment Impact Statement says that all impacts will be "within manageable limits". This must be challenged. To view the executive summary > Click here

Bob Walshe will speak about this at the next OFF Meeting, March 22. OFF will be making a submission and individual members are encouraged to make their own submissions also.
> View more detailed information


field day 28/02/04

The aim of this day was to drive up West Head Road in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and inspect the numerous Aboriginal sites just off the road.
It was a sunny mild Saturday morning when 17 OFF members met at Mc Carrs Creek, a fore-taste of the delightful late summer's day which we were to enjoy.

> View walk photo gallery

When excavations were completed by Kogarah Council for the newly created wetland at Moore Reserve in the spring of 2001, no-one could have predicted precisely how successful it would prove to be in attracting aquatic birds and other fauna.
> Read David Waterhouse's study


The weather was fine and warm and, after a pleasant ferry ride from Cronulla, 24 of us assembled on Horderns Beach, Bundeena, where we were met by Helen Vogt of the local Yarmouth Historical Society. She kindly provided us with information about the Bundeena-Maianbar Heritage Trail, some of which coincided with our intended walk.
> View walk photo gallery

A proposed development at South Maroota (north-western Sydney) has shown up the inadequacies of the Threatened Species Conservation Act, the State legislation which is supposed to protect endangered plants and animals. For full story >View November 03 newsletter

It was a wonderful day for the seven folk who walked from the Sphinx to Bobbin Head and back on Saturday, 30th August. We had a glorious sunny day and Alan Fairley introduced us to a large array of everyday and endangered plants, some found only on the northside.
> View walk photos


AUGUST 2003 FIELD DAY - Lawson
It was a superb sunny winter's day for our walk down Empire Pass at Lawson on Saturday, 2nd August. Despite delays caused by railway work which necessitated a bus ride from Central to Penrith, the walk got under way by 11.20am. Sites visited included Fairy Falls, Dantes Glen and Frederica Falls. All 16 of us were impressed by the gorge below Dantes Glen and the superb rainforest vegetation which had escaped the summer 2001/02 fires. Muriel told us of her family's visits to the area over 40 years ago when glow-worms could be seen beneath the falls.
> View walk photo gallery

Alan Fairley's description with photos of a 40 minute circuit walk through the Lime Kiln Bay wetlands.
> Take the walk

With weeds cleared and a new wetland created, would the new habitat would attract aquatic fauna? What would be first? Would unusual species appear or re-establish themselves? These are intriguing questions to the interested local naturalist..
> Read David Waterhouse's story

Photo: Hurstville Mayor Vince Badalati & Clr Steve McMahon inspect damage with OFFS members.

Again in this OFF News we highlight the plight of Oatley Park and the damage being done to it by mountain bikes. We make no apology for the space given to this issue as Oatley Park has a special place in the Society's heart - it was in 1955 that, in response to threats to the bushland of Oatley Park that this Society was formed. Now, nearly 50 years later, mountain bike damage is looming as one of the biggest threats to the values of the park.
>> Read full story

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