Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Landcare Link-up – July 2019

Posted on 22 August, 2019 by Asha

The theme of our July 2019 Landcare Link-up was volunteer engagement, with a training session on attracting, recruiting, and retaining volunteers. A couple of representatives from each group in the Mount Alexander Region Landcare Network were invited to attend. As well as the training, Landcare Link-ups are always a great chance to meet people from other groups, have a chat, and learn from and support each other.

A small but engaged group of about 13 Landcare volunteers came together for the Link-up. Jenny from Non-profit Training got everyone thinking about the challenges involved in engaging volunteers with a Landcare group. We discussed volunteer burnout, bringing in new people, removing barriers and being inclusive, the different volunteer roles within groups, and much more. Attendees were able to share lessons and ideas with each other, bringing a range of perspectives from their different groups.

Brian from Taradale Landcare, a recently reinvigorated group, shared four ‘pillars of success’ for engaging volunteers with their group:

  • Visibility and accessibility – easy to contact and responsive to communications.
  • Motivation – doing work that people are interested in.
  • Organisation – the value of planning and good governance.
  • Sociability – making new people feel welcome, good food and drink!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the Link-up an enjoyable and valuable event. Our biannual Landcare Link-ups are organised by Connecting Country with funding through the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program.

July 2019 Landcare Link-up (photo by Asha Bannon)


Cactus destroyers wanted – Sunday 25 August 2019

Posted on 22 August, 2019 by Ivan

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group and Parks Victoria will hold their next Community Field Day on Sunday 25 August 2019, with the group keen to get some new Cactus Warriors on board.

Come and join the Cactus Warriors and Parks Victoria for a morning in the fresh air and learn how best to destroy Wheel Cactus. The location is at the reservoir end of Whitlocks Road, near Maldon VIC. To get there, take South Parkins Reef Road out of Maldon and follow it to the end. The route will be well signposted. The morning’s activities finish with a delicious BBQ lunch and friendly chat. The event is family friendly but children must be accompanied by a parent at all times.

For more information on the infamous Cactus Warriors – click here.

Community Field Day
When: 10.30 am to 12.30 pm on Sunday 25 August 2019
Where: End of Whitlocks Road, Tarrangower VIC (near sheep yards), via South Parkin’s Reef Road and follow the signs.

Come along kill some cactus and then enjoy a free sausage sizzle

Check out the poster below for a location map or visit and subscribe for a monthly field day reminder.



Come to our Acacia workshop – or get your SGM proxy form now!

Posted on 15 August, 2019 by Ivan

Connecting Country is holding a Special General Meeting and Acacia workshop, The Wonderful World of Wattles, at 2.00 pm on Saturday 24 August 2019 at Campbells Creek Community Centre. Come along for brief meeting formalities and then learn all about identifying our amazing local Acacias with special guest and local legend, Ian Higgins and Rod Orr!

We would like to remind members of Connecting Country to please fill out a Proxy Form if you cannot attend the special general meeting. This will help us obtain sufficient member numbers to conduct the formalities of the special meeting and fulfill our legal obligations in changing auditors. 

To see our official notice and fill out the attached proxy form for the meeting – click here

Please return your completed proxy form by email to or or post to the Connecting Country office.

For more information on the interactive Acacia workshop, please see our flyer below. To download a copy of the flyer – click here

To RSVP please visit TryBooking – click here

This Acacia workshop is made possible by generous funding support from the North Central Catchment Management Authority and our wonderful volunteers Ian Higgins and Rod Orr.


Intrepid Landcarers indeed!

Posted on 15 August, 2019 by Asha

Over twenty young people aged 16-35 shared an exciting adventure last weekend at the Mount Alexander Region Intrepid Landcare Retreat.

‘The weather delivered everything from hail, wind, snow, freezing temperatures, rainbows and sunshine!  Between outdoor adventures, helping with some direct seeding for habitat, learning much about the local area and leadership, and thawing out, the group threw together some pretty awesome project ideas to bring to this region,’ said Megan Rowlatt from Intrepid Landcare Australia.

‘The group met the legends behind the Cactus Warriors who have been battling the insidious Wheel Cactus for many years and bringing landscapes back to good health. We met awesome Landcare volunteers looking after and restoring bushland which has been highly disturbed due to a long history of gold mining. We met Pauline from the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation who shared her beautiful culture and local knowledge with us. And we met an amazing group of young people passionate about the environment.’

If you are interested in getting involved with an Intrepid Landcare group in the Mount Alexander region, contact Asha Bannon at, or join the new ‘Intrepid Landcare Mount Alexander’ Facebook group.

To make these opportunities accessible to as many young people as possible, successful applicants were generously supported by North Central Catchment Management Authority and Connecting Country through funding from the Victorian Landcare Program. This support covered all catering, accommodation and a carefully packaged leadership development program tailored to meet the needs of young people passionate about the environment.


Tim Low on ‘The New Nature’ – 6 September 2019

Posted on 8 August, 2019 by Frances

Connecting Country and Newstead Landcare Group are delighted to host a presentation by well-known author and biological scientist Tim Low.

Tim will speak on his book ‘The New Nature’. Although controversial when first published in 2002, the book was recently updated and its themes are now more relevant than ever. Following Tim’s presentation there will be an opportunity for questions and answers, then a cuppa and cake.

Tim Low talk on ‘The New Nature’
When: 7.30 pm on Friday 6 September 2019
Where: Newstead Community Centre, Lyons St (Pyrenees Hwy) Newstead, VIC

All welcome. A gold coin donation will help us cover costs. Bookings not required. 

For our event flyer – click here

This event is supported by funding from North Central Catchment Management Authority and Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests.

Tim Low
Tim Low is a biologist and best-selling author of seven books about nature and conservation. ‘Where Song Began’ won several prizes, including the Australian Book Industry Award for best general non-fiction. It was praised in the New York Review of Books and recommended by Scientific American. ‘The New Nature’ was praised by Time magazine and listed by Who magazine as one of the books of the year. ‘Feral Future’ inspired the formation of a conservation group, the Invasive Species Council. Tim’s articles have appeared in Australian Geographic, The Weekend Australian Magazine, The Guardian and many other places. He works partly as an environmental consultant, and has a lizard named after him. He recently returned from a visit to Manchuria as a guest of the China Writer’s Association.

‘The New Nature’
The conservation movement talks about declining species, as it should, but this leaves many people unaware that some animals and plants are doing better today than ever before, because they have found ways to exploit us. Australia has winners as well as losers. Animals don’t have any concept of ‘natural’ or ‘unnatural’ so they don’t automatically recoil from cities and farms. Sometimes they can do better in cities than in forests – Australian cities and towns are gaining animals over time. Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane now have peregrine falcons nesting on skyscrapers. Some urbanising species, notably corellas and flying foxes, are becoming sources of conflicts that need to be carefully considered. The notion of wilderness can get in the way of understanding all this because it implies that nature is authentic only when there is no human influence. But animals and plants have been benefiting from humans ever since Aboriginal people began burning the ‘wilderness’ to manage it.

You can read more about Tim Low and view his Blog and website – click here


Landscapes in transition – property visit with Muckleford Catchment Landcare

Posted on 5 August, 2019 by Asha

Dam in Muckleford (photo by Muckleford Catchment Landcare)

Join Muckleford Catchment Landcare to explore a property that demonstrates techniques to transition a landscape via planting and water management. You will see:

  • How dams can be functional water sources, habitats and aesthetic features that sit within the landscape.
  • How the efficacy of different planting techniques is dependent on the landscape.
  • How direct seeding of native seed can be used at a larger scale to kick start the transition.


When: 10.00 am to 11.30 am, Saturday 24 August 2019

Where: 88 Symes Rd, Muckleford South, VIC 3462

RSVP: Please RSVP to Beth Mellick on 0431 219 980 or email


Hooded Robin walk with BirdLife Castlemaine – 3 August 2019

Posted on 31 July, 2019 by Asha

BirdLife Castlemaine District is going searching for Hooded Robins!

Hooded Robins are one of Connecting Country’s special ‘Feathered Five’. They’re known to frequent a certain spot in Shelbourne. Locals Jane MitchellKerri Peacoulakis and Kerrie Jennings will lead a bird walk with Asha Bannon.

The group will do a 20 minute 2 hectare survey using the Birdata app. The location is near one of Connecting Country’s monitoring sites in the Blue Hills. The walk may continue south along the railway line on the edge of the Blue Hills.

As well as the walk, all are invited to check out the successful direct seeding done by Connecting Country on Kerri and Tus’ property nearby. The revegetation is growing well, and providing habitat for Hooded Robins and other woodland birds. After the walk, please bring your picnic lunch and gather on the veranda at Jane’s place nearby in Shelbourne Rd, Shelbourne VIC. Jane will put the kettle on!

When:    Saturday 3 August 2019 from 9.30 am to 1.00 pm

Where:  Lakeys Rd and Railway line walk, Shelbourne (approximately 14 km north of Maldon)

Meet at the start of the walk at 9:30 am. For those who would like to carpool from Castlemaine, meet outside Castlemaine Community House (previously Continuing Ed) at 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine VIC at 8:45 am.

Directions: Park next to the disused Shelbourne-Maldon branch railway line along Lakeys Road in Shelbourne (soon after the dip in the road). Look out for the walk leaders who will be waiting at the parking spot. Call 0418 428 721 if you get lost.

Bring: Please bring binoculars, water, snacks, weather-appropriate clothing, and wear sturdy shoes and long pants during snake season.

Safety: The walk is approximately 4 km along an easy track. The walk will be cancelled if severe weather warnings are forecast, or if the day has been declared at Total Fire Ban.

Further information: Email or contact Asha Bannon (BirdLife Castlemaine District bird walk’s coordinator) on 0418 428 721.

The meeting point is circled on the following map.


Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare AGM – 7 August 2019

Posted on 31 July, 2019 by Asha

Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare have had an active, successful year, thanks to the continued hard work of their committee members and the wider community. Volunteers from the group have put in more than 2,000 hours of on-ground work in the last year. The environment along Campbells Creek shows the benefit.

Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare believes volunteer groups (including theirs) need the infusion of new ideas and new energy to continue to produce results. CLICK HERE to read their document outlining their committee member roles, and consider whether any roles suit your interests and abilities.  Feel free to contact their Secretary, Thea King (, or the current role-holder if you want to know more.  If you would like to contribute, but are unsure of the commitment involved, please consider volunteering to support the elected committee member as an assistant.  All positions are re-elected annually.

Annual General Meeting – Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare

When:         Wednesday 7 August 2019.  Meal from 6.00 pm.  Meeting from 7.30 pm

Where:        Klua Sathorn Thai restaurant, 32 Johnstone Street, Castlemaine VIC

The meeting will be short, made up of two important agenda items:

  • Reports from the past year.
  • Election of the new office-bearers.

Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare volunteers on a bridge along the creek (photo by Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare)


Natural Newstead: A proper soaking and then woodland birds

Posted on 31 July, 2019 by Asha

If you love birds and our natural heritage, hopefully you’ve already discovered the Natural Newstead blog. The blog is a wealth of knowledge and expert observations of flora, fauna and landscape in central Victoria. With nearly 2,000 subscribers, it contains some of the best nature photography you will see anywhere. It is run by Newstead resident and local ecological identity Geoff Park, with contributions from other knowledgeable locals. Geoff Park has worked in various roles with the North Central Catchment Management Authority and in the private sector, and is very passionate about biodiversity conservation and on-ground biodiversity outcomes.

If you’re not familiar the blog, check it out here:

We particularly enjoyed Geoff’s recent post about woodland birds enjoying the wetter conditions this winter. To read this post on the Natural Newstead website, click here, or continue reading below.

A proper soaking and then woodland birds
Posted on 1 July 2019 by Geoff Park

We’re in the depths of winter and celebrating wonderful rainfall over the weekend.

Hopefully we move slowly now into a ‘typical’ spring that enables some recovery of woodland bird populations across the region. I was pretty chuffed to see some familiar faces at Muckleford Gorge, especially a pair of Hooded Robins. Along with the Crested Shrike-tit and Jacky Winter we encountered numerous Flame Robins, a Golden Whistler, Restless Flycatchers and Brown Treecreepers.

Crested Shrike-tit (adult male), Muckleford Gorge, 30th June 2019. Photo: Geoff Park
















Crested Shrike-tit (adult male), Muckleford Gorge, 30th June 2019. Photo: Geoff Park
















Hooded Robin (male). Photo: Geoff Park













Jacky Winter on a branch. Photo: Geoff Park




People for nature: an online workshop – Thursday 25 July 2019

Posted on 23 July, 2019 by Ivan

Explore citizen science and challenges concerning climate change on species conservation

The State Wide Integrated Flora and Fauna Teams (SWIFFT) is a network and an initiative supported by Federation University Australia, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Zoos Victoria, the Ballarat Environment Network and the Victorian Department of Environment Land Water and Planning.

SWIFFT comprises a wide diversity of interests such as Landcare, conservation and field naturalists groups together with members of the community, including farmers and landholders, who share an interest in nature conservation. SWIFFT also has involvement from environmental consultants, local government, tertiary institutions conservation agencies and organisations such as Trust for Nature, Greening Australia, Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria and Connecting Country. All are welcome to join the conversation!

SWIFFT connects people with events, information and others interested in threatened species and biodiversity conservation. They are holding an online video conference on Thursday 25 July 2019 from 9:55 am – 12:15 pm AEST. You can connect from your home, or from a local state government office at Bendigo, Ballarat or further afield (click here for details)

The online event includes the following presentations:

  • Climate Watch: Informing climate change knowledge gaps through citizen science by Nadia Roslan (ClimateWatch Program Manager at the Earthwatch Institute).
  • A #BlueCarbonArmy counteracting climate change by Dr Maria Garcia-Rojas (Field Operations Manager, Blue Carbon Army).
  • Australian Museum’s citizen science project ‘frog id’ by Adam Woods (FrogID Science Communicator and Project Coordinator, Australian Museum).
  • Redmap by David Mossop (Redmap National Coordinator).

For more information and to register – click here.

SWIFFT requests those attending the video conference in person at an office location to please sign in at reception by 9:40 am. All are welcome to join other participants in the lunchtime conservation conversations following the presentations.


swifft area

SWIFFT is collating information on threatened species and nature conservation projects for all regions of Victoria.


National Tree Day – 28 July 2019

Posted on 18 July, 2019 by Asha

Planting along Baringhup Landcare’s Loddon River site in 2016 (photo by Asha Bannon)

National Tree Day is coming up on Sunday 28 July 2019, with Schools Tree Day a couple of days before on Friday 26 July 2019. National Tree Day is a call to action for all Australians to put their hands in the earth and give back to their community. Each year, about 300,000 people across the country volunteer their time to engage in environmental activities that educate individuals about the world around them. It’s a day to venture outdoors and get to know your community, and most importantly, to have fun!

See below for details about a couple of local plantings happening on the Sunday. If you’re not based in the Mount Alexander region, you can find your nearest National Tree Day working bee on the website here: If you’re busy that day, get in touch with your local Landcare group anyway, as there will be more planting days to come this year! Contact details for all our local Landcare groups can be found on our website by clicking here.

Castlemaine Landcare Group

When: Sunday 28 July 2019, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Where: Corner of Colles Road and Fallan Street, Castlemaine VIC 3450

What: This National Tree Day, Castlemaine Landcare Group are keen to plant 600 seedlings along Forest Creek. They’d love your help! Please come down to plant one seedling or many, as every plant in the ground will create more habitat for our native wildlife. The plants put in will provide shade along the creek and create areas for people to picnic as well as for insects, birds and aquatic life to thrive. But they can’t do it without your help.

Other information: Do some planting, and then afterwards join them for a free lunch at 12.30 pm of sausages and soup from the Castlemaine Lions Club. Please wear stout footwear and bring gardening gloves, water and a hat. Look forward to seeing you!


Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare

When: Sunday 28 July 2019, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Meet on the trail alongside Central Carpets, Castlemaine. If arriving in car, it’s probably best to park at the south end of Camp Crescent, then walk over the footbridge and southwards towards the highway for another 120 m.

What: For the National Tree Day, Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare will be planting understorey species at ‘Carpetland’—one of the really high profile sites along the creek. They’re hoping to turn this long neglected site, that once had good tree cover, into a welcoming showpiece by attempting to plant over 300 seedlings.

Other information: They’ll finish with a late morning tea at noon. Bring a hat, water, and a friend if you like. All welcome.



Nature Hotspot: Mega-Sign launched at Castlemaine Information Centre

Posted on 9 July, 2019 by Ivan

The Honorable State Government member for West Bendigo, Maree Edwards MP, launched our wonderful ‘Key Biodiversity Areas: Nature Hotspots’ sign at the Castlemaine Market Building Information Center, Castlemaine, Victoria, on Tuesday 25 June 2019, in front of a solid crowd of dedicated volunteers and members.

The sign aims to educate the community and visitors to the region about the internationally significant nature hotspots to the west of Castlemaine, which are part of the greater Box-Ironbark Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). The sign has some stunning pictures of five bird species that you might see in the KBA area and aims to encourage people to explore and connect with these important landscapes, which include the forests and woodlands around: 

1. Clydesdale-Strangways
2. Sandon/Strathlea
3. Muckleford-Newstead

The five bird species highlighted in the sign are the Swift Parrot, Powerful Owl, Painted Button Quail, Hooded Robin and the local darling, the Diamond Firetail, all of which rely on the KBA area to provide habitat, biodiversity and ecosystem function to ensure their survival in our region. The photographs featured in the sign were generously donated by local photographers Geoff Park, Chris Tzaros and Alison Pouliot, with the incredible graphic design donated by the talented Jane Satchell.

The sign design for “Caring for our Key Biodiversity Areas”. Photo: Jane Satchell

The sign was funded through the ‘Caring for Key Biodiversity Areas in Central Victoria’ project, which included working with seven volunteer landholders within the KBA to restore and protect habitat on their properties.  The participating landholders will play a vital part in ensuring the habitat remains viable and in good health for all species that are present throughout the seasons.  The project also included education events to raise the awareness of KBAs through community-run Easter Health Checks of these habitats.

Connecting Country held a series of workshops in partnership with BirdLife Australia, to recruit bird survey volunteers known as ‘KBA guardians’ and provided training in how to complete the annual ‘Easter Heath Check’ form. You can read about those workshops here. The Easter Health checks will continue to occur in our KBA landscape, despite the project finishing up shortly, with the community keen to monitor these areas. This will inform Birdlife Australia of the threats and management actions required to keep these precious woodlands and forests in good health.

Diamond Firetails are declining in our region and feature prominently on the signage. Photo by Geoff Park

We would like to thank all of those who have been involved in development of information, design, and proofing of the sign, there are so many of you and your help has made such a beautiful and lasting sign possible.

For further information about Key Biodiversity Areas, please click here. If you would like to be involved in the Easter Health check for these landscapes, please contact the KBA coordinator at Birdlife australia:


Need help to control Wheel Cactus?

Posted on 24 June, 2019 by Asha

Great message from our local Cactus Warriors:

Are you new to the Maldon area? Have you escaped the stressful city lifestyle and bought yourself a piece of paradise? Welcome, you’ve made the best decision! But have you now discovered there’s a few weeds to deal with?

If you have some Wheel Cactus plants, then the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) can help you to deal with these invasive weeds. If there’s just a few young plants then it’s much easier to destroy these while they’re small. But no matter how small or large your Wheel Cactus infestation, please don’t hesitate to contact the TCCG for help and advice.

You can contact us via our website at where you’ll also find some interesting case studies about new community members who’ve bought properties with Wheel Cactus infestations and been very successful in eliminating the weed.

Thanks to ongoing support from the Mount Alexander Shire Council, our group is very well equipped with digging tools and injection kits that can borrowed free of charge. We also hold regular Community Field Days where we demonstrate the best techniques to use.

Our next Community Field Day is on Sunday 30 June 2019, and will be in Watersons Road, Maldon VIC. The route will be well signposted from Bridgewater Rd. The morning’s activities begin at 10:30 am and always end with a delicious BBQ lunch and friendly chat. These events are family friendly, but children must be accompanied by a parent at all times. If you have any queries please contact us via email at

Wheel Cactus plants on a property near Maldon (photo provided by TCCG).


Special General Meeting and Acacia workshop – Saturday 24 August 2019

Posted on 24 June, 2019 by Frances

Connecting Country is holding a Special General Meeting and Acacia workshop, The Wonderful World of Wattles, at 2.00 pm on Saturday 24 August 2019 at Campbells Creek Community Centre.

Come along for brief meeting formalities and then learn all about identifying our amazing local Acacias with special guest and local legend, Ian Higgins!

To see our official notice to members about the meeting – click here

For more information on the interactive Acacia workshop, please see our flyer below. To download a copy of the flyer – click here

We encourage our members to attend, but all are welcome. To RSVP please visit TryBooking click here

This Acacia workshop is made possible by funding support from the North Central Catchment Management Authority.


A foray in fungal realms with Alison Pouliot – Friday 14 June 2019

Posted on 13 June, 2019 by Asha

The Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club have once again engaged a great guest speaker for their monthly general meeting.

From the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club blog:

Hygrocybe sp. HYG8103 © Alison Pouliot

Alison has worked as a scientific photographer and ecologist for almost three decades. She has presented over 350 workshops and seminars on environmental and conservation themes in Australia and internationally – more details at    

Throughout history, fungi have confounded humans with their strange appearances, peculiar habitats and dubious connotations. Yet without fungi, life as we know it would be radically different. Fungi regulate the biosphere and support the earth’s ecological functioning. They provide us with food, wine and medicine.

Alison will take us deep into the fungal kingdom, showcasing the aesthetics of these perplexing yet enchanting organisms, and explore some of their natural and cultural curiosities.

The talk is open to both members and visitors – bring along friends and family. The evening will commence from 7.30 pm on Friday 14 June 2019 at the Fellowship Room, behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC (next door to the Castlemaine Art Museum). Tea and snacks available afterwards. There is no cost for attendance.

If you need further information please contact Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club.


Sights and sounds from the Camp Out 2019

Posted on 6 June, 2019 by Asha

If you couldn’t make it to the Camp Out on the Mount 2019, we now have available an audio recording of the panel and song from the Sunday morning. Or you may have come along but enjoyed it so much you’d like to listen again! Many thanks to Leonie van Eyk and the Little Habitat Heroes for recording this and putting it together to be shared.

The audio features a Welcome to Country from Uncle Michael Bourke, followed by further welcomes from Connecting Country, Little Habitat Heroes, Harcourt Valley Landcare, and Maree Edwards MP. Local legend George Milford then facilitates a discussion between local experts, including Terri Williams (Bendigo TAFE), Michael Bourke (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation), Ian Braybrook and Marilyn Bennet (authors of ‘Sarah’s search – a silk odyssey’). They speak about the values of the mount from the perspectives of the environment, culture, and heritage. It finishes with local musician Eva Popov singing her song, ‘Seeds that grow’.

Click here to listen, or click the ‘play’ button below.

Also, please enjoy these lovely photos of some of the kids who went down to the revegetated area at Old Silk Worm Farm after the panel. Leonie and the Little Habitat Heroes helped them find new plants that had grown to the same height as them, to take their photo with!

Harvey and Gulliver Ward with a revegetated Hakea decurrens (photo by Leonie van Eyk)

Ted Macarthy with a revegetated Acacia (photo by Leonie van Eyk)


Birdata workshop – 23 June 2019

Posted on 6 June, 2019 by Jess

BirdLife Castlemaine District and Connecting Country are partnering to bring you a new workshop on how to use the Birdata app to record bird surveys on your smartphone (both Android and iPhone). No experience is required. We’ll provide training on how to do a 20 minute – 2 hectare search using your phone.

Surveys can also be recorded on paper if necessary. However, if you have a smartphone, using the Birdata app is quick and easy, and saves time on data entry.

We often encounter Eastern Yellow Robins during bird surveys (photo by Jane Rusden)

Here’s what we’ll cover at the workshop:

  • What is a 2 ha area count and how do you do it.
  • How to use Birdata and record a survey.
  • Substantial afternoon tea!
  • Putting theory into practice by completing a survey in the field.

Sunday 23 June 2019 at 1:00 pm

Where: Tea Room, Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, Downes Rd, Castlemaine VIC

Registration: Please email to register. That way we can provide plenty of afternoon tea and Birdata trainers.


Launch of 2019 Wheel Cactus season

Posted on 20 May, 2019 by Asha

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group continues to ‘wage war on Wheel Cactus’. Here’s some information for the 2019 season launch:

We’re very pleased that our Mount Alexander Shire Tarrangower Ward Councillor, Stephen Gardner, will be ‘cutting the ribbon’ for the launch of our 2019 season of Community Field Days, on Sunday 26 May at 10.30 am.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters, including Parks Victoria, Mount Alexander Shire Council and North Central Catchment Management Authority, we hold these field days on the last Sunday of every month from May to October, to demonstrate how best to destroy Wheel Cactus.

Please come and join us for a rewarding morning in the outdoors. We supply all the necessary equipment; all you need are sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants and a hat.

The location for this field day is in Cairn Curran Rd. To get there, follow Watersons Rd to Cairn Curran Rd, turn left and follow the road around the reservoir and the property will be on the left opposite the reservoir; the route will be well signposted. The morning’s activities always end with a delicious BBQ lunch and friendly chat. These events are family friendly, but children must be accompanied by a parent at all times. If you have any queries please contact us via our website at

Cactus Warrior volunteers at work on a Community Field Day (photo by Lee Mead)

Launch of 2019 season of Wheel Cactus season
When: Sunday 26 May 2019 at 10:30 am
Where: Cairn Curran Rd, Baringhup VIC (follow Watersons Rd to Cairn Curran Rd, turn left, continue around the reservoir and the property is on the left opposite the reservoir)
Bring: sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants, and a hat
Further info: contact Tarrangower Cactus Control Group via their website at


Nuggetty to Shelbourne railway walk – 19 May 2019

Posted on 16 May, 2019 by Asha

Join Nuggetty Land Protection Group for a walk from Nuggetty to Shelbourne along the old railway track this Sunday. A community bus will carry you to the start of the walk. The walk from there is approximately 13 kilometres to Shelbourne Railway Station. However the bus will meet walkers at the intersections of roads so you can have a lift back to your car if you need to.

When: Sunday 19 May 2019 at 9:30 am

Where to meet: Nuggetty Peace Monument, Nuggetty School Road, Nuggetty VIC. Parking is available.

What to bring: Lunch. Tea and coffee will be available at Bradford Siding. Wear walking shoes, hats and other weather-appropriate clothing.

Bookings and more information: Please make sure you book by contacting Jane Mitchell (0457 729 132) or Christine Fitzgerald (0419 347 408) from Nuggetty Land Protection Group.

The event will be cancelled if weather inclement.


Do stuff that matters with Intrepid Landcare

Posted on 15 May, 2019 by Asha

Intrepid Landcare will kick-start in the Mt Alexander region of central Victoria in August 2019 with a weekend retreat for passionate young people!

The retreat is open to anyone aged 16 – 35 years who is up for making a difference and having some good fun doing it.

Intrepid Landcare retreat

Where: Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park, Castlemaine, VIC

When: Friday 9 August to Sunday 11 August 2019

Further info: CLICK HERE to apply or for further information

To avoid disappointment, please submit your application as soon as possible!

The leadership retreat will be the perfect place to connect to other young like-minded people, hear from awesome inspiring speakers, get your hands dirty with an action-packed weekend of adventure, conservation, cultural immersion and discovering what opportunities exist across the Mt Alexander and Central Victoria regions with Landcare.

To make these opportunities accessible to as many young people as possible, successful applicants will be generously supported by North Central Catchment Management Authority and Connecting Country through funding from the Victorian Landcare Program. This support covers all catering, accommodation and a carefully packaged leadership development program tailored to meet the needs of young people passionate about the environment.

CLICK HERE to download the flier and share it with your friends!