Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Last chance! ‘Camp Out Collage’ contributions due 18 April 2021

Posted on 14 April, 2021 by Asha

Don’t forget to visit our special web pages if you’d like to join us for this year’s virtual ‘Camp Out on the Mount 2021’! Joining in is easy and fun. To get started – click here!

We are hoping for lots of contributions so we can create a ‘Camp Out Collage’ of photos, stories, and pledges. For every contribution you make to the collage, you will be entered into a draw to win some great prizes, including nest boxes, plants, books, and more.

Prizes!

  • Nest box installed by Wildlife Nestboxes .
  • Book bundle on native plants of the Mount Alexander Region from Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests featuring Mosses, Eucalypts, Acacias, and Native Peas.
  • Local produce hamper.
  • Small selection of indigenous tubestock to plant (acacias and sheoaks).
  • Brochure bundle from Connecting Country featuring Woodland birds of Central Victoria, Indigenous plants of Castlemaine and surrounds, and Reptiles and Frogs of the Mount Alexander Region.

Entries are due by 18 April 2021.

Thanks to Theo Mellick-Cooper and Liz Martin for sending in these stunning contributions!

Camping Out photo by Theo Mellick-Cooper

Loving Leanganook photo collage by Liz Martin

 

Seeking homes for nest boxes – Campaspe Valley Landcare Group

Posted on 7 April, 2021 by Asha

Rob Chapman with one of the nest boxes he’s made (photo from Campaspe Valley Landcare Group)

Campaspe Valley Landcare Group (CVLG) has been awarded a grant to support the conservation of Brush-tailed Phascogales (also known as Tuans) in the group’s boundaries, which encompass Redesdale, Mia Mia, Barfold and Langley in central Victoria.

The project includes the manufacture, placement and monitoring of approximately 50 Tuan nest boxes in the CVLG area during 2021, to support the conservation of this threatened native mammal. The lack of hollow-bearing trees is of particular concern for the conservation of the Tuan. This project proposes to address the lack of suitable hollows, using purpose-built nesting boxes.

CVLG is calling for property owners with suitable habitats to volunteer forested areas for one or two Tuan boxes to be installed.  CVLG will take responsibility for the placements, and will be occasionally monitoring the nest boxes over a twelve-month period to assess Tuan population changes.

Tuans are carnivorous and largely insectivorous, so the ideal habitat includes forested areas and lots of coarse woody debris. The fallen logs, branches and other woody material on the forest floor provide shelter and food for Tuans and for their prey.

You would be a prime candidate for this project if your property:

  • Is combined with any adjoining forest land (Tuans do not recognise title boundaries) totals 50 hectares or more.
  • Has an abundance of fallen timber, logs, and a dense and diverse shrub layer.
  • Lacks large, old and hollow-bearing trees in the forest.

The specific siting requirements are the placement of the nest boxes two metres or more above the ground, facing south-east, so as to avoid the cold, driving winds of winter and the hot northerlies of summer.

Tuan nest box manufacture is well underway, and we hope to secure volunteers and install them by the end of June 2021.

If you would like to volunteer your location for this project and ‘foster’ a Tuan family, please contact Phil Don of CVLG on 0408 988 701.

 

Launched! Camp Out on the Mount 2021 web pages

Posted on 31 March, 2021 by Asha

It’s almost time! The virtual ‘Camp Out on the Mount’ officially kicks off this Saturday 3 April 2021, and the brand new Camp Out web pages are ready to explore right now! To have a look – click here

This year, to reduce the risk of having to cancel or reschedule, we have decided to jump the gun, get creative and plan for a virtual ‘Camp Out on the Mount’ 2021.

When: 3 – 18 April 2021
Where: 
Online at www.connectingcountry.org.au/landcare/camp-out-on-the-mount-2021/
How to join in: 
Explore the ‘Camp Out on the Mount 2021’ web pages and send in contributions to the ‘Camp Out Collage’ of photos, stories, and pledges
Questions:
Email asha@connectingcountry.org.au

Camp Out Collage

We aim to capture the ‘Camp Out on the Mount’ spirit by encouraging everyone to engage with our special ‘Camp Out 2021’ web pages, and inviting you to contribute to our ‘Camp Out Collage’.

Each page focuses on one of the elements that make the Camp Out special:

  • Camping out (of course!).
  • Caring for the land.
  • Loving Leanganook.
  • Connecting with Indigenous culture.

Join in and enter the draw

For each contribution you make to the ‘Camp Out Collage’ you will be entered into the draw to win a prize. Please note that you are only eligible to win the prizes if you live in Australia, and some of the prizes (such as the nest box and plants) will only be available for properties in the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria.

You may send in a maximum of four entries (i.e., one entry for each element). The four elements are: ‘Loving Leanganook’, ‘Connecting with Indigenous culture’, ‘Caring for the land’, and ‘Camping out’.

To learn more and to send in a contribution to the collage – click here

Send your completed form(s) to asha@connectingcountry.org.au by midnight on Sunday 18 April 2021. Your entries will be added to a collage of photos, stories, and pledges, which will be shared on our website in the coming months. You will also be automatically entered into the draw to win a prize (if you wish to opt out of the prize draw, please note this in your email).

Prizes!

  • Nest box installed by Wildlife Nestboxes.
  • Book bundle on native plants of the Mount Alexander Region from Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests featuring Mosses, Eucalypts, Acacias, and Native Peas.
  • Local produce hamper.
  • Small selection of indigenous tubestock to plant (acacias and sheoaks).
  • Brochure bundle from Connecting Country featuring ‘Woodland birds of Central Victoria’, ‘Indigenous plants of Castlemaine and surrounds’, and ‘Reptiles and Frogs of the Mount Alexander Region’.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate, so please share with your friends and start exploring!

This event was made possible by the Victorian Landcare Facilitator Program, funded by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning.

 

Landcare Victoria Inc: 2021 nominations open

Posted on 31 March, 2021 by Asha

Landcare Victoria Inc (LVI) advises that nominations for the LVI Committee of Management and LVI Members Council are now officially open and will close at 5 pm on Friday 23 April 2021.

Landcare Victoria Inc is seeking nominations for the LVI Committee of Management from the following voting regions (one position in each region):

  • Port Phillip & Westernport
  • Wimmera
  • North Central
  • Glenelg Hopkins

and one Professional Landcarer position, elected by Professional Landcarers on a statewide basis.

The LVI Committee of Management is responsible for the control and management of the business and affairs of Landcare Victoria Inc, including setting the strategic direction, management of staff and the establishment of subcommittees.

Landcare Victoria Inc is also seeking nominations for the LVI Members Council, with vacancies in all regions. The Members Council is designed to bring together a diverse group of Landcarers to be a part of LVI’s policy response and policy development work, and to be a conduit for ideas and issues that directly relate to the effectiveness of Landcare in Victoria.

LVI Member Groups are urged to give careful consideration to nominating suitable candidates for Committee of Management and Members Council vacancies. The strength of LVI depends on members stepping forward to take leadership roles.

Please visit the Landcare Gateway for more information about who is eligible to nominate for each role, nomination forms, and a current list of Voting Delegates.

Key dates

  • Friday 26 March 2021: Nominations officially open for LVI Committee of Management and Members Council.
  • Friday 23 April 2021: Nominations close.
  • Friday 21 May 2021: LVI AGM to be held, LVI Committee of Management positions declared.
  • One month post-AGM: LVI Committee of Management to appoint Members Council members.

Key actions

  • Please check the list of Voting Delegates on the Landcare Gateway. If your group’s Voting Delegate is to be someone other than the listed individual, please advise LVI as soon as possible.
  • Please ensure your group’s Voting Delegate and any registered Professional Landcarers are aware that nominations are now open and where to locate the nomination forms.
  • Please ensure all listed members of your group are aware that they are eligible to nominate for vacant positions on the Members Council and assist them to access the nomination form and seek endorsement.
  • Ensure all nomination forms are completed in full and received by email (to info@lvi.org.au) or post (to LVI, PO Box 509, FLINDERS LANE VIC 8009) no later than 5 pm on Friday 23 April 2021.

Further information about the Landcare Victoria Inc AGM will be sent to financial LVI Member Group contacts in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with LVI by sending an email to info@lvi.org.au or calling 03 9207 5527. Please note that all incoming calls will divert to voicemail as they are currently working remotely, but will return your call as soon as possible.

 

Rabbit Round-up Field Day 2021

Posted on 31 March, 2021 by Asha

Blampied–Kooroocheang/Rocky Lead Landcare Group, with support from Hepburn Shire Council and the Victorian Rabbit Action Network, invite you to a ‘Rabbit Round-up – Field Day 2021’.

A rabbit control workshop to demonstrate on-site, best practice approaches for farms, lifestyle and conservation properties.

The all-weather venue has a diverse range of rabbit issues, ideal for discussing strategy and demonstrating control techniques. Morning tea provided.

Newer and experienced land-managers welcome!

Date:  Saturday 10 April 2021
Time:  10 am – 12 noon
Location:  Camp Castle Hill, 3530 Midland Highway, Blampied VIC
Booking:  Places are limited, please register at https://www.trybooking.com/BPUQK or contact Brian Bainbridge (phone 0437 048 648 or email bbainbridge@hepburn.vic.gov.au)

To download the event flier – click here

 

Landcare Link-up – February 2021

Posted on 17 March, 2021 by Asha

Thank you to the enthusiastic cohort of Landcare and Friends group representatives from the Mount Alexander region, and other stakeholders, who braved the cold at our February 2021 Landcare Link-up.

The evening started with small, socially-distanced discussion groups where Landcarers talked about issues that are important to individual groups, our broader community, and the land we all share.

Discussion topics included:

  • Climate change impacts.
  • Biodiversity monitoring.
  • Weed and pest animal management.
  • Waterways.
  • Landcare promotion.
  • Group successes and challenges.


The second feature of the Link-up was viewing a series of nine COVID-safe video updates prepared by local groups in lieu of in-person presentations about their work. The videos are all unique and exceptional in true Landcare style, and well worth a watch.
They provide a valuable ongoing resource for all of us to keep sharing inspirational Landcare stories.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our series of blog posts presenting the videos. To visit our web page where you can view all the Landcare video updates at your leisure (and share with your friends!) – click here

 

 

Landcare video updates – Taradale Landcare

Posted on 17 March, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we asked each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

This video from Taradale Landcare is an update on what they got up to in 2020, and features many stunning photos and footage of their recent work.

To watch the video, click on the image below or – click here

Taradale Landcare works to protect and enhance the land and wildlife habitats in and around Taradale. This includes working with the local  community to care for the biodiversity and agricultural health of the landscape. They hold regular meetings, working bees, BBQs, bush walks, property visits and other fun events. New faces are always welcome!

To learn more about Taradale Landcare or get involved, contact them via email (taradalelandcare@gmail.com) or visit their Facebook page – click here

 

Camp Out on the Mount 2021 – we’re going virtual!

Posted on 10 March, 2021 by Asha

This year, to reduce the risk of having to cancel or reschedule, we have decided to jump the gun, get creative and plan for a virtual ‘Camp Out on the Mount’. No, this doesn’t mean toasting marshmallows by the light of your computer screen. We are encouraging everyone to plan their own camping trip in whatever way is possible for you, and to join in online by contributing to our ‘Camp Out Collage’ (details to come).

When: 3 – 18 April 2021
Where:
Online at www.connectingcountry.org.au/landcare/camp-out-on-the-mount-2021/
How to join in:
Sign up to our blog for updates, or check the webpage during the dates above
Questions:
email asha@connectingcountry.org.au

We hope to capture the ‘Camp Out on the Mount’ spirit by encouraging everyone to engage with our special ‘Camp Out 2021’ web pages, and inviting you to contribute to our ‘Camp Out Collage’ of photos, stories and pledges. These will focus on some of the elements that make the Camp Out special:

  • Camping out (of course!)
  • Caring for the land
  • Loving Leanganook
  • Connecting with Indigenous culture

More details about how to participate will be shared on our blog in the coming weeks. To subscribe to our weekly e-news so you don’t miss any updates – click here

Camp Out on the Mount 2019 (photo by Leonie van Eyk)

 

Landcare video updates – Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare

Posted on 4 March, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we asked each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

This video from Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare is a wonderful snapshot of their work. It showcases some of the many biodiversity values of the creek (including platypus!) and highlights the incredible improvements to creek-side habitat achieved by the group over the years. The historical photos highlight the impressive changes in the landscape and biodiversity. To watch the video click on the image below or – click here

Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare is a group of local residents and volunteers who work to protect and improve the environment in the Campbells Creek catchment.  The group is committed to celebrating and encouraging the use of the creek and creek-side land by the community. Their vision is to make the creek and creek-side lands a community asset – a healthy, restored environment, linked with nearby habitat, actively used and cared for by the community and visitors.

They do weed control, plant indigenous species, encourage regeneration and work to improve access to the creek for everyone’s enjoyment, recreation and education.

To learn more or get involved with Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare, visit www.focc.org.au or contact them via email (info@focc.org.au).

 

Landcare video updates – North Harcourt & Sedgwick Landcare

Posted on 4 March, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we asked each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

The next video from North Harcourt & Sedgwick Landcare details their fantastic ‘Pledge to Plant’ project during 2020. They explain how they went about the project and the overwhelming response they received from their community. To watch the video click on the image below or – click here

North Harcourt & Sedgwick Landcare Group focuses on community and shared learning. Their revival in recent years has seen them become a thriving and active group with strong community participation and support. Their current projects include running nature walks, building nest boxes, and providing property advice for local residents.

To learn more or get involved with North Harcourt & Sedgwick Landcare, contact them via email (nhselandcare@gmail.com) or visit their Facebook page – click here

 

Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 7 March 2021

Posted on 25 February, 2021 by Asha

Clean Up Australia is happening this Sunday 7 March 2021, including eight locations across the Mount Alexander region. Clean Up Australia inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment. What was started 30 years ago, by an ‘average Australian bloke’ who had a simple idea to make a difference in his own backyard, has now become the nation’s largest community-based environmental event.

Local Clean Up Australia Day working bees include:

To view a map of Clean Up Australia Day working bees across the country, allowing you to search via postcodes and townships, please click here

Rubbish dumped at Muckleford Bushland Reserve (photo by Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group)

 

Landcare video updates – Sutton Grange Landcare Group

Posted on 25 February, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we asked each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

The Sutton Grange Landcare Group video features committee member Zane, as he takes us on an inspiring and entertaining tour of some of the group’s recent projects. To watch their excellent video, scroll down to the image below or – click here

With an active and diverse committee, Sutton Grange Landcare Group has many landscape restoration projects on the go, as well as ongoing connections with their community through their engaging and informative newsletter, and meetings that often feature fabulous guest speakers.

Zane explains some of the impacts the pandemic has had on their group, and the ways that they are still carrying on and thriving.

To learn more or get involved with Sutton Grange Landcare Group, contact them via email at

 

Landcare video updates – Golden Point Landcare

Posted on 18 February, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we asked each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

This Landcare video update from Golden Point Landcare is a lovely conversation between executive committee members Marie and Jennifer. To watch the video click on the image below or – click here

Learn about some of the long history of the group and some of their upcoming activities, such as the Clean Up Australia Day working bee around Expedition Pass Reservoir. Also discussed are challenges the group faces, some positive local changes, and new engagement with community members.

If you would like to learn more or get involved with Golden Point Landcare, contact Jennifer via email at j.pryce@bigpond.com

 

Landcare video updates – Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA)

Posted on 18 February, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, we invited each Landcare and Friends group in the Mount Alexander region (Central Victoria) to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA) provided a video update that takes us on a visual journey through some of their amazing work. To view the video click on the image below or – click here

MULGA’s video includes footage of a beautiful large old eucalypt as a snapshot of their ‘Living Treasures’ project. They aim to obtain detailed records for eucalypts that are estimated as growing before 1852 (pre-European settlement) in Maldon, and to achieve long-term protection for these trees.

To read more about MULGA and their work – click here
If you would like to get involved, contact Bev via email at maldonurbanlandcare@gmail.com

 

Landcare video updates – Tarrangower Cactus Control Group

Posted on 11 February, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, each Landcare/Friends group in the Mount Alexander region was invited to film a short video update to share their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

Our second video update is from the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (aka Cactus Warriors!). Click here or scroll down to view their video, which tells us about their group and captures the fun and hard work of a typical cactus control field day. It certainly is inspiring and well put together.

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) consists of Landcare volunteers dedicated to the eradication of Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta). TCCG, in conjunction with Parks Victoria, holds friendly and informal Wheel Cactus Control community field days to inform and demonstrate control techniques. These field days always end with a free BBQ lunch, cuppa and cake, as well as the opportunity to chat, exchange ideas and make contacts. It is a great opportunity to spend a rewarding morning outdoors, meeting neighbours and others who are concerned about preserving and improving our unique environment. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is required and all equipment is supplied.

TCCG volunteers also provide advice and practical assistance to landholders, conduct trials of control methods and network with other Landcare and weed control groups, locally and nationally. TCCG raises awareness of the extent of the Wheel Cactus problem and its status as a Weed of National Significance through networking, regular articles in local newspapers and other media, pamphlets and participation in local community events.

If you would like to learn more about the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group or to get involved, visit their website at www.cactuswarriors.org or email info@cactuswarriors.org

 

Landcare video updates – Muckleford Catchment Landcare

Posted on 11 February, 2021 by Asha

To complement the February 2021 Landcare Link-up, each Landcare/Friends group in the Mount Alexander region was invited to film a short video update to share some of their achievements with the community. As usual, Landcarers rose to the occasion! We will be sharing these videos through a series of blog posts, as well as screening them at the Landcare Link-up and uploading them to our Landcare page.

The first of our Landcare video updates comes from Muckleford Catchment Landcare. Click here or scroll down to view their video, which shows some of the group’s past and current revegetation works, takes us through their nest box monitoring project, and gives insight into how the group has been navigating through the pandemic. We really enjoyed the video and thought it was an inspiration to see the growth of the revegetation in such a short time.

The aims of the Muckleford Catchment Landcare group are to:

  • improve water quality in the Muckleford Creek and its tributaries
  • conserve soil in the Muckleford Creek catchment
  • create a healthy and viable balance between farming and biodiversity
  • encourage discussion, debate, participation and co-operation between landholders within the catchment
  • harness local knowledge and expertise to improve the environment and productivity
  • assist landholders to access funding for land improvement projects

If you would like to learn more about Muckleford Catchment Landcare or get involved, visit their website at www.mucklefordlandcare.wordpress.com or email mucklefordlandcare@gmail.com

 

Landcare Link-up – 22 February 2021

Posted on 25 January, 2021 by Asha

You are invited! Representatives from Landcare/Friends groups in the Mount Alexander Region Landcare Network, along with other interested community members and stakeholders, are invited to the biannual Mount Alexander region Landcare Link-up.

As always, the February Link-up will be focused on Landcarers sharing stories of their work. In lieu of in-person presentations, this year local groups have been invited to share a short video update to minimise COVID-19 risks. These will be shared at the Link-up and on the Connecting Country website. Along with the video updates, attendees will be invited to gather in small discussion groups, each focussed on a topic of interest to local Landcarers. Hot drinks and light supper provided.

When: Monday 22 February 2021, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Where: Please book for venue details, as places may be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

RSVP: Please book online at https://www.trybooking.com/BNRGB by Monday 15 February 2021.

More information: Email asha@connectingcountry.org.au or call 0418 428 721.

 

People power! Victoria Gully Group working bee

Posted on 14 December, 2020 by Asha

People power! Earlier this month, twelve Victoria Gully Group volunteers hand-pulled over 2,500 Cape Broom (Genista monspessulana) seedlings at Clinkers Hill Bushland Reserve near Castlemaine in central Victoria. Several years ago, Victoria Gully Group began major restoration work at this site, so this working bee was important follow-up on past work.

Cape Broom is a noxious weed that has damaging impacts on the environment and agriculture in Australia. For more information about its impacts and management – click here and here.

When removing the Cape Broom seedlings, volunteers could see native seedlings emerging, including acacias, native peas and bursaria. If left unchecked, the Cape Broom would quickly grow to out-compete and smother the diversity of native habitat plants growing at the site. As many Connecting Country followers will know, Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa) is a vital plant for the life cycle of the threatened Eltham Copper Butterfly (Paralucia pyrodiscus lucida). For more information about their unique relationship – click here

Victoria Gully Group volunteers also work with the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning to do restoration work such as revegetation, weed control and exclusion fencing just down the road from Clinkers Hill in Victoria Gully (a tributary for the local Forest Creek in Castlemaine). In recent years they have also established and maintained frog ponds in the gully to provide habitat.

Landcarers are often a humble bunch, so the amazing volunteer work they do can fly under the radar. Victoria Gully Group’s recent working bee was just one example of over 100 Landcare and Friends group working bees that take place in the Mount Alexander region every year to care for our local environment. Let us acknowledge and celebrate this achievement.

If you’d like to volunteer with Victoria Gully Group, or one of our other local Landcare or Friends groups in the Mount Alexander region, you can find their contact details on Connecting Country’s website – click here

 

Prickly plants for wildlife and community: McKenzie’s Hill Action & Landcare Group

Posted on 3 December, 2020 by Asha

Our ‘Prickly plants for wildlife and community’ project was coordinated by Connecting Country during 2020, in partnership with four local Landcare groups from across the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria. The project was made possible by generous support from the Albert and Barbara Tucker Foundation.

McKenzie’s Hill Action and Landcare Group is one of groups that collaborated with Connecting Country on this project. We supported groups with specialist botanical advice, developing local planting lists and planting hundreds of local-to-the-area (indigenous) understorey plants.

These understorey plants will help provide valuable food, nesting sites, and shelter for local woodland birds (photo: Connecting Country)

McKenzie’s Hill Action and Landcare Group planted 200 tubestock plants at two of the sites they regularly work on: Adelaide Gully and 70 foot Hill Reserve, near Castlemaine VIC. As a group, they have been working at these sites for many years to remove weeds and replace them with indigenous plants.

The sites have an established eucalypt canopy, so the group has been primarily focusing on planting shrubs and smaller understorey plants to increase diversity within the sites. Plants such as Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa), Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), Rosemary Grevillea (Grevillea rosmarinifolia), Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens) and Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus) are great dense species which provide protection and nesting sites for small birds and insects. Common Fringe-myrtle (Calytrix tetragona), Matted Bush-pea (Pultenaea pedunculata), Flax lilies (Dianella spp.) and Rice flowers (Pimelea spp.) provide a diversity of both flowering and lifeforms, valuable for a variety of different animals.

The groups have also installed nest boxes and provide resources for woodland birds and other animals through their planting.  They have spent hundreds of hours on these sites over many years. The plants added this year required around 30 hours of volunteering to do site preparation, planting, installing guards, and watering. Luckily, they managed to get most of the work done before COVID-19 restrictions began.

Since COVID-19 emerged, members have not been getting together to share a meal at their meetings, but the executive still meets online via Zoom when necessary. COVID-19 has limited the community engagement side of their work, by restricting numbers at their working bees to keep people safe, and participants bringing their own tools and morning tea.

The group have managed to continue to do their volunteer work despite the challenges. President of the McKenzie’s Hill Action and Landcare Group,  Jan Hall, said, ‘Our work helps keep the reserves healthy and supports the bird life in the area, an area which is fast becoming urbanised. As there aren’t public green spaces being provided as part of the developments, these reserves give people a chance to get out and walk in the bush and be closer to nature.’

McKenzie’s Hill Action and Landcare Group encourage interested community members to get in touch with them about care of the local reserves and future activities. To find their contact details – click here

McKenzie’s Hill Action & Landcare Group volunteers busy planting 100 prickly plants for habitat (photo: Sylvia Phillips)

 

Prickly plants for wildlife and community: Campaspe Valley Landcare

Posted on 29 October, 2020 by Jacqui

With support from the Albert and Barbara Tucker Foundation, Connecting Country partnered with local Landcare groups during 2020 to protect and enhance habitat on public land. Our ‘Prickly plants for wildlife and community’ project involved four Landcare groups across the Mount Alexander region of Central Victoria. Campaspe Valley Landcare is one of these groups and has done an amazing job to get their project completed, despite the need to adapt activities to COVID-19 restrictions. We hope you enjoy this article written by Barbara James of Campaspe Valley Landcare about their group and their recent planting.

Campaspe Valley Landcare (CVL) operates to the north of Kyneton, within the area between the lower reaches of the Coliban and Campaspe Rivers leading to Lake Eppalock in Central Victoria. Our group has members that live within four Shires including Mount Alexander, Macedon Ranges, Mitchell and the City of Greater Bendigo. The group’s main focus is eradicating weeds, revegetation, and identifying and surveying for indigenous plant species. Newcomers can gain advice on issues of biodiversity on their properties. CVL can help landowners access appropriate information such as whole farm planning courses and the latest weed eradication methods.

For more information about Campaspe Valley Landcare, or to get in touch please – click here

As part of the Prickly plants for wildlife and community project in 2020, Campaspe Valley Landcare received 300 prickly plants that were planted mostly on a block of public land in Barfold. The block is situated on the corner of School Rd and Dallistons Rd, and is managed by the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). This land contains part of Back Creek, which has been a group focus for several years for gorse and other weed eradication.

Campaspe Valley Landcare planted and guarded 300 prickly plants in 2020 as part of the Prickly plants for wildlife and community project

 

The current project will build on previous CVL work along Back Creek which encouraged participation in various publicly funded programs. This has included Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT), and DELWP programs, which provided $3,700 towards weed control and planting during 2015-2016, and $1,500 in 2017 as part of a Good Neighbour Grant. Our group has continued to employ a contractor to spray gorse, and we have also purchased and planted native understorey species ourselves.

Kangaroos and other animals have been problematic, as well as a few years of drought, so we have tried various methods of guarding over the years. Prickly plants seemed like a very good idea for survival, helped by the taller guards provided by Connecting Country via the grant.

The prickly plants were a mix of locally indigenous species selected for their form and flowers to provide habitat resources

 

Planting out was difficult due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we managed to do it in a COVID-safe way, and are pleased a wetter spring this year did help. Due to the problems with group planting and COVID-19, some other roadside planting sites in our area were supplemented by the plants provided through this project. We are hopeful that they will have a better survival rate due to their bristly nature, the taller guards, double stakes and a wetter spring and Summer. Thank you to Albert and Barbara Tucker Foundation and Connecting Country!

Barbara James
Campaspe Valley Landcare