Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

A prickly new project: get involved with Prickly Plants for Wildlife

Posted on 25 January, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Trees are great, but small birds and marsupials need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. We’re very happy to announce that Connecting Country has obtained funding for a new project called Prickly Plants for Wildlife.

This project will supply eligible landholders with valuable understorey plants that will enhance existing native vegetation, and provide habitat for many small birds such as Diamond Firetails, Superb Fairy-wrens, Scarlet Robins and Brown Thornbills.

This charming nest was built by a pair of Mistletoebirds at Bonnie’s property, in a hedge wattle. The white fluff is from an old couch!

Prickly plant species include Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens), Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus), Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), and acacias such as Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa) and Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia).  These plants are depleted or missing from our local area, and we would like to lend a helping hand to see these plants back in the landscape and on local properties.

Requirements for eligibility

  • Property with at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We will also supply some financial support, and then it is over to you!  Planting, watering, pest control and maintenance will be carried out by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will be in charge of managing contractors on your property. Of course we will be on deck for any information or questions as needed.

How to apply

All interested landholders are encouraged to fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to Or to find out more about your eligibility, call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594. If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Prickly Plants for Wildlife project, we will keep you on file for future opportunities.


A Brown Thornbill in the safety of a prickly Hedge Wattle. Photo by Geoff Park

Expressions of interest close Monday 19 February 2018.


Caring for Diamond Firetail habitat: new on ground works program

Posted on 1 November, 2017 by Tanya Loos

A Diamond Firetail, photo by Geoff Park

Connecting Country has been granted funding for a new on ground works project called ‘Caring for Key Biodiversity Areas in Central Victoria’. The special bird habitats of Clydesdale and Sandon are designated as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) by BirdLife International and BirdLife Australia. The trigger species for these areas are the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government – Community and Volunteer Action Grants. In a nutshell, the project has three main components:

  1. Care and protection of native vegetation on private land, including actions such as supplementary revegetation, weed control and rabbit control. These actions will help enhance habitat for the trigger species for the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.
  2. Creation and installation of two attractive interpretative signs at popular parts of the Key Biodiversity areas, such as Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, and Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve.
  3. Two community events in 2018, such as a bird walk and sign launch!

The participating landholders have been contacted, and site visits will begin in early 2018.

Earlier this year, Connecting Country held a workshop in partnership with BirdLife Australia, to recruit bird survey volunteers known as ‘KBA guardians’ and provide training in how to complete an annual ‘Easter Heath Check’ form. You can read about that workshop here.

Diamond Firetails are declining in our region. Photo by Geoff Park

We are thrilled that this workshop generated the interest and the impetus for this grant.

There is also a very keen new group, coordinated by Friends of Muckleford Forest, which involves volunteers surveying 15 sites across the Muckleford KBA. These surveys are in preparation for the 2018 Easter Health Check. To read about Friends’ project, or volunteer,  see the Friends website here. 


Remnant rescue for woodland birds – looking for eligible landholders

Posted on 3 August, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Connecting Country is currently seeking expressions of interest for on ground works on private land. In particular, we are looking for  landholders with remnant vegetation on their properties who are interested in undertaking actions that improve woodland bird habitat.

Thanks to our recently announced “Woodland bird community habitat protection and enhancement” project, we have a small amount of funding available for the protection and enhancement of 60 ha of remnant vegetation. Building connections between bushland areas through direct seeding  and revegetation with tubestock is very important, but at the same time we need to care for our remnants; the core habitat.  This project will fund actions that protect bird habitat from threats such as stock grazing and weeds.

This male Scarlet Robin needs extensive areas of good quality habitat to thrive. Photo by Geoff Park

Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, and a subsequent plant list and property habitat management plan.  Activities funded will mainly focus on fencing for stock exclusion and weed control within these remnants.

Eligibility for funding from this project will be determined according to the following factors:

  • Size of your remnant vegetation patch
  • Property location
  • Presence of threatened woodland birds

Having said that, all interested landholders are welcome to fill in the EOI form.  If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Remnant Rescue,  then we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Click here to open the Expression Of Interest Form for Remnant Rescue
Deadline for EOIs: 24th September, 2017

Please send in the form to or post it to PO Box 437 Castlemaine 3450. If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Bonnie on 5472 1594.

This project is funded with the support of the Victorian Government’s Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action Initiative.

Our resident plant enthusiast Bonnie Humphreys in a beautiful remnant patch in Yapeen