Blackberries beaten again!

Spraying blackberries on mountain bike tracks at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra. From left: Alan, Nathan and Kip.

Spraying blackberries on mountain bike tracks at Sparrow Hill, Kowen Forest, Canberra. From left: Alan, Nathan and Kip.

It took three months, but it’s finished at last. The blackberries and thistles that thrive in the forest have had their annual treatment. A wide corridor has been sprayed along every track at Sparrow.

Last summer Alan and Nathan Carroll sprayed the border and surrounds of all the tracks, and the benefits showed in the reduced growth of blackberries and thistles this summer.

But there were still plenty to take care of, as a lot of thistle seed is wind-borne, and the open harvest lines from the thinning operations provided ideal conditions. Blackberries seem to be one of Nature’s great survivors, and always manage to fight their way back. Alan and Nathan got welcome assistance from passing riders reporting areas where they’d tangled with unfriendly vegetation, and the spray team made those areas a priority.

With the main task done, it’s now down to minor maintenance for the rest of the summer.

Remember, though, if you spot any tempting blackberry fruit, even along the fire-roads, it’s likely Alan and Nathan, the weed killers, have been there.