Survey Method

The whole forest (802 ha) was surveyed for indigenous and exotic plants over a period of some 18 years from 1982 to 2000.

A grid system called VICBOT, devised by A. Paget for flora surveys divides Sherbrooke Forest into about 20 areas, 740 by 583 m.   Each of these these areas is further subdivided into 25 cells, each 148 X 116 m.   Each cell is located by using compass bearings from a measured point on tracks throughout the forest. Future surveys would probably use GPS.

In the centre of each cell a 7x7m. quadrant was surveyed using the Braun-Blanquet abundance scale.  The rest of the cell was then surveyed using the same scale for an overall flora abundance.

Two person teams surveyed one, two, or three plots per session, filling in a prepared form listing indigenous and exotic plants.  In addition, signs of forest animals were noted and comments made on the general condition of the area surveyed.   Survey results have been entered into a data base so that specified flora and fauna can be readily located.

After the completion of the forest survey using the grid method, the Friends undertook a survey of locations where waste water flows, from adjacent houses and roads, generate problems for forest plants.  One result of this activity was the formation of "the Tuesday morning" group in 1999 to deal with an almost overwhelming growth of Cestrum on and near the banks of Monbulk Creek at Nation Road.  Now, nine years later (2008), we are still treating regrowth of this dreadful weed, and we probably still have a couple of years to go!!  But now it's a pleasure to see the return of the native plants.
Over the last three years "Water watch" surveys of two creeks have been undertaken by the Friends in order to monitor the health of these waterways.