Going to Merimbula to find bodalla!

Click here to watch the film on ABC Open – The bodalla in Merimbula

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At this risk of sounding a little Hollywood, this is the prequel to the other Pomaderris film that I wrote about, featuring ABC TV’s Gardening guru Costa.

This was the first field trip to look at how best to collect cuttings and seed from a particular species of the Pomaderris genus, the Pomaderris bodalla, in Merimbula. I can hear the obvious question – why not go to Bodalla to collect this plant? The answer is that it’s best found around Merimbula. Go figure!

The NSW south coast weather in the morning looked dicey, some light rain was falling and plenty more was predicted. Never good news for the filmmaker who has to work out a strategy to capture a good story and not end up with wet equipment. Of course the botanists and other scientists don’t mind, they’ll head out whatever the conditions. They live for their field trips.

Despite one heavy bucketing of rain around midday (I was able to hide out in a car), the conditions turned to be excellent and the project team was able to get on with the mission. Not only did everyone learn how best to collect and preserve the various species of this genus, but they gathered some excellent cutting material with which to cultivate plants in the various partner botanic garden nurseries.

There is always a need to keep your day free when taking to the field with botanists. They’re an enthusiastic bunch and tend to get distracted by the thousands of other species along the way, and the day can become dangerously long. Especially when you realise you hadn’t packed a sleeping bag and toothbrush!

The future of the Pomaderris genus looks positive, with the Australian National Botanic Gardens leading a collaborative partnership of government bodies, including Bega Valley Shire Council, research institutions, national parks, land managers, custodians and south eastern NSW and ACT botanic gardens all contributing to the Pomaderris conservation project funded by the NSW Environmental Trust. The three-year project will involve the collection of seed and cutting material from Pomaderris populations across NSW and the ACT.

Richard Snashall – ABC bio here


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