The Ballarat Region Treegrowers (BRT) was formed in 1998 by a small group of farm forestry enthusiasts, and has since been promoting the benefits of integrating trees into the rural landscape for commercial and environmental benefits for landowners and the broader community. They are a local branch of Australian Forest Growers. The BRT has set up its own ‘biorich plantation’ based on the principles of integrating conservation and economic production (click here for more info).
The group is in the process of making a documentary film which will promote the return of native vegetation in rural areas through landholder-driven activities such as Landcare, agroforestry, biolinks and ‘sustainable’ farm management plans. They are interested in including Connecting Country as part of the doco, and we have been in discussions with them about this.
You can learn more about the film here. The site includes a video ‘promo’ featuring prominent environmental educator Rob Gell. They are also seeking donations to extend the length and quality of the film.
Deakin and LaTrobe Universities with support from DEPI and Parks Victoria are currently conducting a Box-Ironbark Mosaic Burning Project. In their fifth newsletter they describe the work being conducted to document forest structure and how it may change as a result of planned burns. The area focused on is the Heathcote-Rushworth Forest. For people interested issues related to planned burns this project and its documentation could be a valuable resource. Subscription details are included in the newsletter. Some comments on the project from a local perspective are featured in the Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests website.
The October 2013 edition of the North Central CMA publication, ‘chat’, is now available. (Click here to download.) This month’s edition includes articles on the spread of Bridal Creeper into the Kyneton Woodlands, the recent Landcare Camp Out on the Mount and the Cup Moth caterpillar.
Do you want to make your passion your day job, and help the environment?
The Diploma in Conservation and Land Management provides students with the opportunity to undertake a blend of class room based study with participation in a range of industry projects and field trips as part of their training. Continue reading
The next Wheel Cactus Community Field Day will be held next Sunday 24th November on a property near the corner of Watersons and Tarrengower School Roads, and will be well signposted from the corner of Watersons and Bridgewater-Maldon Roads.
The morning’s activities will begin at 10:30 am and end at approximately 12:30 pm with an enjoyable BBQ and friendly chat.
This is the last field day for the year and will be followed by the 2013 Tarrangower Cactus Control Group AGM. Everyone is welcome to stay for the meeting.
You can find out all about the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group Inc activities for this year on their website.
On Friday 29th November, the Baynton Sidonia Landcare group and the Kyneton Woodland Project are offering a bus tour of three local properties to look at:
• indigenous vegetation restoration by direct seeding and tubestock planting
• how a little bit of fencing can make an enormous difference to what comes up once stock are removed
• plant ID (of indigenous vegetation)
• how to maintain areas of indigenous vegetation – dealing with weeds and the growth of grasses
They hope to hear from the landholders at each site about their motives in land restoration as well as from local vegetation guru Ian Higgins who is the Project Officer for the Kyneton Woodland Project.
The day will start at the Baynton Hall at 10 am with a talk by Ian about the principles of revegetation and restoration of indigenous vegetation. Ian is an inspirational speaker and his knowledge of vegetation is encyclopaedic.
After the talk, there will be a short bus ride to the first site which is on the Burke and Wills Track. Then a return to the Hall for one of Heather’s (of the Burke and Wills Track winery) excellent lunches and then a visit to sites at Barfold and Green Hill before the bus returns to the Hall at 3:30 pm.
Regretfully, the tour is not suitable for people of limited mobility. Not only is there the climbing on and off the bus, but there will also be walks of several hundred metres at each site over uneven, and at one site, steep, rocky, ground.
This event is funded by the Kyneton Woodland Project, so there is no cost to participants. If you would like to secure your place on the bus tour, please contact Clare on 54 234 152 or firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th November.
A reminder that the Castlemaine Field Naturalists talk this Friday evening (8 Nov 2013) is about particular recent discoveries and debates in the story of human evolution. Ross Williams gives his talk entitled ‘Bones of Contention’. For details, click here. All welcome.
The next day (Sat 9 Nov), the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club Excursion will be to the Newstead Cemetery and the Rise and Shine Reserve. It will leave from the Octopus building in Castlemaine – opposite the Castle Motel on Duke St – at 1.30pm.
On Sunday 10 Nov, local ecologist Damien Cook is leading a Nature Walk around Bells Swamp (between Maldon and Bridgewater), from 10.30am until 12 midday. You will see the amazing response of plants and birds to the flooding of this wetland, including the nationally threatened and recently discovered Myriophyllum porcatum. The excursion will commence from the intersection of Brooms Lane and the Bridgewater-Maldon Rd (at the southern end of Bells Swamp).
We are seeking suitable people to form the 2014 Works Crew for Connecting Country’s Connecting Landscapes program.
Do you want to work outdoors? Do you want to make the natural world a better place? If yes, then this could be the job for you.
Connecting Country is seeking enthusiastic people to form its 2014 Environmental Works Crew. With funding from the Australian Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund, Connecting Country is implementing a long term program to protect and enhance native vegetation at a number of sites across the Mount Alexander Shire and immediate surrounds in central Victoria.
For more information on the program, and also for a copy of the full position description, click here. The role is a fixed term position, commencing early January 2014 and concluding in August 2014.
To apply, send your curriculum vitae or resume to “Connecting Country, PO Box 437, Castlemaine, VIC, 3450 by 5pm Monday 18th November 2013 or by email to email@example.com
For more information regarding the project and the position, contact Jarrod Coote on (03) 5472-1594 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In August 2003, on the Indonesian island of Flores, scientists found the bones of a little female adult who died 18,000 years ago. She had been a little over one metre tall with a brain barely one third the average size of ours. Nor was she alone. Remains of others of the same type were found later.
The scientists had discovered a previously unknown species, Homo floresiensis. Astoundingly, these tiny beings made stone tools, used fire to cook meat and vegetables, hunted and killed large animals, worked co-operatively in groups and probably spoke a language. That is, they developed a society with its own enduring culture. And they survived on Flores until about 12,000 years ago! The world’s media pounced on the news, and told us that “real, live hobbits” used to live in Indonesia. In scientific circles, meanwhile, the discovery ignited a dispute which, a decade later, is still hot.
Sadly, the real Homo floresiensis got lost along the way.
At the November meeting of the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club, guest speaker Ross Williams, will talk about what the hard evidence shows about the species’ appearance, its abilities, its ecology and how it fits into our own evolutionary history.
The talk will be held on Friday 8 November from 7pm in the hall behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine (approx. midway between Kennedy St and Barker St). Entry is free. Both members and visitors are welcome to attend. The excursion the next day will be to the Newstead cemetery and the Rise and Shine Reserve. Contact the club for further details if needed (email@example.com).
The October 2013 edition of the Mount Alexander Landcare E-news is available. Click on the banner below to download the newsletter.
The Landcare E-news is short monthly update on Landcare-related news, information and events for the Mount Alexander Shire and surrounds. Previous editions of E-news are available from the Landcare page of the Connecting Country website (click here).
The newsletter is sent out by Connecting Country’s Local Landcare Facilitator, Max Schlachter. If you would like to be put on the recipient list, send Max an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.