THE widely loathed Pinus radiata could be banished from Mount Alexander with the work of many hands.
The inaugural Camp Out on the Mount on October 5 and 6 invites all nature lovers to descend en masse to "pull out a pine".
Organiser, Mount Alexander Region Landcare facilitator Max Schlachter, said both the Harcourt Valley Landcare Group and Parks Victoria had been tryng, with little success, to get rid of the hundreds of pines on Mount Alexander, remnants of a plantation harvested in the 1990s.
The exotic pines were a problem because they competed with natural woodland and were also a fire risk, he said.
Camp Out on the Mount event stemmed from an idea by Noel Muller from Parks Victoria's Castlemaine office, who opined that the pines could be eradicated in five years with an annual "pine pull" working bee.
"What is needed is lots of people, lots of hands," Mr Schlachter said.
The Camp Out has been organised by Connecting Country and Parks Victoria, supported by Mount Alexander Shire Council.
What is needed is lots of people, lots of hands
It gets under way at 1pm on Saturday October 5. The pine pulling begins at 2pm, where people can pull out young pines by hand or with the help of a handsaw (supplied).
The pine pull will be followed by a free barbecue, evening wildlife spotlighting walk with a Parks Victoria ranger and overnight camping for people who want to.
Participants can also come along and just pull pines without camping out.
Mr Schlachter said it was an ideal family activity for the school holidays that would be fun, informative and help rid the mountain of pines.
"Come along and have lots of fun helping Mount Alexander and enjoying this special place," he said.
Mr Schlachter said Mt Alexander was home to rare vegetation and woodland unique to the mountain that was not found in surrounding forest.
These included manna, messmate and blackwood eucalypts.
Mt Alexander was also the only known site of the endangered southern shepherd's purse, a tiny flower which grows in moss.
Participants in Camp Out should bring gloves and sturdy footwear for the pine pull, and camping gear if camping overnight.
For more information and to register contact Max Schlachter at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 5472 1594 or Mount Alexander Landcare Facebook page www.facebook.com/mountalexander.landcare