Instead, it turned about to be yet another triumph of human will. Our host Matt Taylor set out a demanding, uncompromising itinerary. First assignment was the annihilation of acres of thistle and the aptly named Patterson’s Curse. This was to restore native grasses that are starting to flourish in white box woodlands being restored at Bush Heritage’s Tarcutta Hills Reserve. Next stop was Scottsdale, a Reserve Jord first conquered in 2017. To get there, we enjoyed an exhilarating alpine drive across the remote Kosciuszko Highway. Scottsdale saw Jord’s crew divided into two teams to compete in a heavy duty tree guard assembly race. Blisters aplenty gave us tokens to fondly recall for weeks after. Then came tree planting, some 250 or so, along the banks of the bushfire-ravaged Murrumbidgee River. The weekend finished with a white water
canoe challenge. Normally classified as Category 2 (moderate medium), the river was assessed on the day – by a learned Simon Cobden – as Category 5 (very violent).

Hyperbole aside, it was a great adreniline rush to end a mighty fine weekend out with colleagues in the bush, having fun whilst “doing some good” for environmental diversity and sustainability.