Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Our own Christine awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia

Posted on 2 February, 2023 by Ivan

Connecting Country is excited to learn that one of our committee of management members, Christine Brooke, has been formally recognised for her outstanding dedication and volunteering for the environment and local landscape restoration.

Christine was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia – a great acknowledgement for her decades of far-reaching volunteering and commitment to the environment. We are very lucky to have Christine’s commitment to Connecting Country, and benefit from her expertise and experience. The medal was granted on 26 January 2023 for her ‘service to the environment, and to the community’.

Christine has a long history of service, including representation on the North Central Catchment Management Authority, Loddon Plains Landcare Network (formerly Loddon Vale Landcare Network), Sutton-Grange Landcare Group, Australian Landcare International, Natural Resource Management Committee, North Central Goldfields Regional Library Corporation, Loddon Shire Council, Faraday Community Association and of course, Connecting Country. She has also won a number of awards during volunteering, remains an active Landcare volunteer, and deserves a big pat on the back!

The humble Christine told us ‘I am a bit overwhelmed by this because, as you all know, it is not one individual that gets things happening but everyone … as part of a team, of which I’m privileged to be a part’.

Christine has shared her expertise and knowledge across many volunteer organisations over her long career (photo courtesy of Bendigo Advertiser)

 

The mighty Chewton Chat community newspaper has published a terrific story about Christine, which we have included below. Great work Christine and thank you for your huge contribution!

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) awarded for service to the environment and the community

When local volunteer Christine Brooke and her husband John moved to Faraday ten years ago, Christine already had a strong interest in working for the environment and the community.

Before long she had become involved with local groups Sutton Grange Landcare and the Faraday Community Association. Her roles in Loddon Shire as a councillor and mayor along with her time on the board and community group of the North Central Catchment Management Authority gave her an overview of how the community and the government agencies can work together successfully. She has been involved at national, state and local levels of Landcare.

This led to her being elected to the Committee of Management of the local landscape restoration organisation and Landcare Network, Connecting Country, working across the Mount Alexander region. And this is where all her skills of governance and accountability, her knowledge of natural resource management along with her understanding of how communities can work together are all used so effectively.

As Christine explained to the Chat, ‘Our communities are vibrant places to live, because of the tremendous amount of time and effort given by volunteers to make them so, from the environment, the arts, sport organisations and all the work of parents within our education systems. I believe we can all play a part to keep them that way.’

Chewton Chat
February 2023

 

Promoting native pollinators from property to landscape – 24 February 2023

Posted on 31 January, 2023 by Hadley Cole

In 2023 Connecting Country is hosting a series of events celebrating the pollinators of our region as part of The Buzz Project: promoting pollinators of central Victoria. We launch the project with a presentation with Dr Mark Hall (Senior Biodiversity Officer at City of Greater Bendigo) in Campbells Creek VIC on Wednesday 15 February 2023. Following the launch, we will host a field trip in Harcourt VIC with Mark on Friday 24 February 2023. Mark completed his PhD on how the composition of wooded habitat in modified landscapes affects bird and pollinator assemblages and has also investigated pollinator diversity, health, management and contribution to crop production. To learn more about Mark – click here

We will spend a morning out in the field with Mark to meet local pollinators, explore their habitat, and learn to identify some of the local pollinator heroes. This event will be at a private property in Harcourt VIC.

 

Join us for a fascinating morning out where will explore both a garden and bush setting in search for pollinators and their homes.

Field trip: Promoting native pollinators from property to landscape
When: Friday 24 February 2023, 10.00 am to 12.00 pm
Where: Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Harcourt VIC (details will be provided on booking)

Bookings are essential as spaces are limited. To book your free ticket – click here

BYO morning tea and drinking water. We will be outside for the whole two hours so please wear sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.

If you haven’t yet booked your free ticket for the presentation with Dr Mark Hall on ‘Native pollinators on your property: who, where and what they do’, there are still spaces available. To learn more and book – click here

The Buzz project is funded by the North Central CMA through the 2022 Victorian Landcare grants.

 

                 

 

Do you give your time to protect nature?

Posted on 31 January, 2023 by Frances

Volunteers are vital to Connecting Country, as well as the many Landcare and environmental groups that work across the Mount Alexander region. We could not achieve what we do without our skilled and enthusiastic volunteers.

At Connecting Country we love our volunteers and work hard to keep them trained, safe and engaged. We aim to create an environment where both our organisation and volunteers mutually benefit from the volunteering experience, and are always looking for ways to improve.

Researchers at the University of Queensland are studying the benefits of volunteering, and what types of experiences and feedback help strengthen the capacity and motivation of volunteers, enabling them to continue making such a valuable contribution. As part of that project, they seek to survey environmental stewardship volunteers to explore their perceptions of volunteering and stewardship.

For more information about this research project – click here

Given Connecting Country’s role, we are happy to promote this interesting work and ask people to complete their survey. If you are an environmental volunteer and give your time to protect nature, please read on for details.

You are invited to participate in an online study to identify what motivates volunteers to participate in environmental stewardship programs, and what factors support the valuable contribution of people like you. The study is completely anonymous and takes approximately 10-12 minutes to complete. Everyone that completes the survey will be offered the chance to win one of two vouchers worth $300. The survey is being run by researchers from the University of Queensland with support from the NSW Environmental Trust.

The complete the survey or to find out more information –  click here

 

 

Native pollinators on your property: who, where and what they do?

Posted on 25 January, 2023 by Hadley Cole

In 2023 Connecting Country is excited to present ‘The Buzz project: promoting pollinators of central Victoria‘. This project celebrates the pollinators of our ecosystems and encourage us all to learn more about our local pollinator heroes. Globally we have seen a serious decrease in pollinators, which has implications for ecosystems, agriculture and in turn the food we eat. There is still much to learn about the pollination services insects and other pollinators provide for food crops and the natural environment. However, we understand that fragmentation of habitat leads to a decline in pollinator activity.

To launch the Buzz project, Connecting Country is pleased to present ‘Native pollinators on your property: who, where and what they do‘, a presentation by Dr Mark Hall, Senior Biodiversity Officer at City of Greater Bendigo.

Dr Mark Hall (Senior Biodiversity Officer, City of Greater Bendigo)

Dr Mark Hall completed his PhD in 2018 on how the composition of wooded habitat in modified landscapes affects bird and pollinator assemblages, under the supervision of Andrew Bennett (La Trobe University) and Dale Nimmo (Charles Sturt University). He has since investigated pollinator diversity, health, management and contribution to crop production. Since 2020 Mark has partnered with the Upper Campapse Landcare Network to identify habitat and floral preferences of pollinators (bees, flies, wasps, butterflies and beetles), and guide effective restoration across the Upper Campaspe region in central Victoria. He is currently the Senior Biodiversity Officer with the City of Greater Bendigo.

 

Join us for an evening to learn about this fascinating topic, and find out which pollinators you might see across our region and the many ecosystem services they provide for our natural landscape.

When: Wednesday 15 February 2023, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm

Where: Dja Dja Wurrung Country, Campbells Creek Community Centre, 60 Elizabeth St, Campbells Creek VIC 

Bookings are essential. To book please – click here

Supper will be provided and you will also receive a free copy of the ‘Insects of central Victoria’ booklet thanks to the Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The Buzz project is funded by the North Central CMA through the 2022 Victorian Landcare grants.

 

           

 

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 launched

Posted on 9 November, 2022 by Hadley Cole

During October 2022 Connecting Country presented the Landcare Sticky Beak Tour to celebrate the amazing Landcare and friends groups of the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria. We kicked off the month-long sticky beak into Landcare with a meet and greet event in Campbells Creek on Saturday 8 October 2022.  Amazingly the sun came out for us, and volunteers and community members from the region joined us for a lovely and convivial morning out.

Representatives from 12 Landcare groups from across the region participated on the day, offering a great opportunity for not only community members to connect with the groups, but also for the groups to connect with one another. We began the morning at Honeycomb Reserve in Campbells Creek with a brief introduction and history of Honeycomb Bushland Reserve from Matt McEachran, Natural Environment Officer from the Mount Alexander Shire Council.

Honeycomb Bushland Reserve exists largely due to the efforts of McKenzie Hill Action and Landcare Group and Friends of Campbells Creek back in 2016. The two groups then joined forces with Connecting Country and Mount Alexander Shire Council to develop a management plan for the reserve, which saw weeds removed and indigenous flora re-introduced to the site. Honeycomb Bushland Reserve offers an inspiring example of how Landcare groups across our region have worked to protect and enhance biodiversity in the very heart of our neighborhoods.

Local Landcare and friends groups set up tables at the event displaying their work (photo by Ivan Carter)

Hadley (Connecting Country’s Landcare Facilitator) introducing the Landcare sticky beak tour map (photo by Ivan Carter)

We then took a walk with Landcare legend Ian Higgins down to Campbells Creek to explore the work of Friends of Campbells Creek, whose members have lovingly restored the creekline for over almost 30 years. We stopped off at a wildflower enclosure – an area that Friends of Campbells Creek fenced to protect plants from grazing pressure. Since fencing the area in 2019 they have introduced 100 species of indigenous plants. The enclosure offers an insight into the diversity of understory and midstorey wildflowers that can grow in a bush setting when disturbance and grazing pressure are limited.

To read more about the wildflower restoration at Honeycomb Bushland Reserve – click here

We also visited a site closer to the creek line that has been restored and replanted with tussock grasses. It is now a sweeping plain of native grasses providing habitat for local wildlife.

Friends of Campbells Creek is a local environment group who have demonstrated enormous commitment to the local landscape, bringing benefits for the entire community. To learn more about the work they do, their program of events and how to get involved, head over to their website – click here

Ian Higgins talking with event participants among the tussock grass (photo by Ivan Carter)

We are very grateful to Ian Higgins from Friends of Campbells Creek for volunteering his time to take us all on a walk, and sharing his vast knowledge of local plants and how to restore them.

As part of the tour, Connecting Country worked with local Landcare and friends groups to create a Sticky beak tour map, which shows the location of Landcare work sites across the region. The map empowers anyone at anytime to take themselves on a self-guided tour and explore the wonderful work of these volunteer groups.  Please see the map below for more detail.

We finished the Sticky beak tour launch with morning tea and a meet and greet with Landcare and friends groups from across the region. Thank you to all the Landcare and friends groups who took part in the Sticky beak tour during October 2022.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

                 

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Harcourt Valley Landcare Group

Posted on 3 November, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we celebrated the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria. Although it is now November we will continue our ‘sticky beaking’ into the wonderful work of Landcare in the region.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Harcourt Valley Landcare Group.

Harcourt Valley Landcare Group are a welcoming group of volunteers of all ages dedicated to preserving and revitalising the Harcourt valley environment. In September 2022 they celebrated their 25 year anniversary, which is a remarkable achievement!

 

The Harcourt Valley Landcare Group aims to inspire, inform and support the community to protect and enhance the local environment. They have ongoing projects and working-bees on the last Sunday of each month.

The group has worked on a variety of projects including reviving the Silver Banksia population in the Harcourt valley, increasing habitat for the Blue-banded Bee, the granite rock circle at the Oak Forest, Harcourt, and restoration of a section of Barkers Creek in Harcourt known as the Tollgate Bridge. You can take a walk along the Barkers Creek restoration site and enjoy the group’s work. To access the site head to corner High St and Bridge St in Harcourt VIC.

To read more about Harcourt Valley Landcare’s projects head over to their website – click here
For their latest updates you can also visit their Facebook page – click here

Harcourt Valley Landcare Group (photo by Robyn Miller)

To view the group’s stunning new brochure online, which was put together in celebration of their 25 year anniversary – click here

To become a member of the group or find out more about their working bees please email: info@harcourtvalleylandcare.org

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

 

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

               

 

Landcare Sticky Beak Tour October 2022 – Victoria Gully Landcare Group

Posted on 27 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Victoria Gully Landcare Group.

Victoria Gully Landcare Group comprises residents who live close to to Victoria Gully, which starts in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park south of Castlemaine and meets Forest Creek at Greenhill Avenue, Castlemaine VIC. The group formed in 2010 and hold working bees that aim to restore the gully to a more natural state and provide a bushland connection from Forest Creek to the National Heritage Park. 

Affectionately known by locals as the ‘the gully’, Victoria Gully accommodates a range of recreation and aesthetic needs including children’s play, walking and bike riding. From the south the gully starts as a narrow, deeply-incised channel then widens to an open, grassed valley with a jumbled topography resulting from historical gold sluicing. This valley is home to a large mob of kangaroos and an intermittent unnamed creek runs along the east side.   

The south head of the gully contains good quality box-ironbark forest, including Clinkers Hill Bushland Reserve, where the group has focused on cleaning up rubbish, removing large weeds, and regular removal of English Broom seedlings.  Mature Yellow Box trees dominate on the sluiced alluvial gravels. Landcare work here is evident in the absence of broom, resulting in the slow return of wattles, peas such as Pultenaea and Daviesia, and other native plants.  

In 2010 the open valley was a nightmare of gorse, broom, blackberries, thistles and rubbish. The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) has responded to the group’s interest interest in the gully with substantial weed and rubbish removal over the years. This has enabled Victoria Gully Landcare Group to concentrate on planting and maintaining two exclusion plots and a frog pond enclosure.

The Victoria Gully Landcare team working hard in ‘the gully’ (photo from the Connecting Country archive)  

DELWP has supported the group’s efforts by providing plants, materials and the frog ponds fencing.  In 2020 DELWP installed a further large exclusion plot along the east side of the valley, near the railway line, and kept responsibility for planting and maintenance. The group’s plans for the future include nest box installation, and dispersed planting in hollows and banks of the central alluvial mining area that kangaroos are unlikely to access. 

Victoria Gully can be accessed from the west via Dawson St off Preshaw Street, or from the east via Dawson Street off Ross Drive, in Castlemaine VIC. Please see the following map for details.

From the south, Clinkers Hill Bushland Reserve (not included in the map) can be accessed via Preshaw Street.  

Map of Victoria Gully Landcare Group’s sites in Castlemaine VIC

 

To find the contact details for Victoria Gully Landcare Group (or your local Landcare group) head over to the Landcare groups contact page on Connecting Country’s website – click here

 

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

                          

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Sutton Grange Landcare Group

Posted on 26 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Sutton Grange Landcare Group.

Sutton Grange Landcare Group was formed in 1990. As well as committee meetings they hold general meetings, which often include a guest speaker. The group puts together a wonderful quarterly newsletter that covers great information on natural resource management issues in the local area.  

 

The group has a popular free tree program where anyone who is a member is entitled to 40 free trees per year. This year the group decided to hold a planting day during the winter 2022 school holidays, encouraging families to bring their kids along to take part in the plantings. To read more information on the wonderful success of their planting day – click here

Sutton Grant Landcare Group members enjoying a planting day (photo by Todd Ware)

Sutton Grange Landcare Group have worked to reintroduce native plant species to the Albert Cox Memorial Sanctuary in Sutton Grange VIC, since 1991. The memorial site was previously a school pine plantation, which was then cleared for timber harvesting. The current Landcare members have worked on pest control and replanting the former plantation and an adjacent area under the guidance of a local member and Connecting Country. During winter 2022 they planted another 300 trees in the adjacent area to revegetate a disused road. Sutton Grange Landcare Group also works in partnership with Mount Alexander Shire Council to maintain an area of threatened native grasses and herbs around the nearby Sutton Grange War Memorial.

Take yourself for a stroll out at Sutton Grange and see some of the wonderful work this group have been doing to protect and conserve local flora and wildlife habitat. To make your way to the Albert Cox Memorial Sanctuary, head to the corner of Sutton Grange Redesdale Rd and Bendigo-Sutton Grange Rd in Sutton Grange VIC. Please see the following map for further directions.

 

Map of Sutton Grange Landcare work sites (image provided by Sutton Grange Landcare)

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

            

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Post Office Hill Action Group

Posted on 24 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Post Office Hill Action Group. 

Post Office Hill Action Group (POHAG) manages 22.6 hectares of public land on behalf of the community, with a focus on preserving the cultural and historical features of the Post Office Hill Reserve in Chewton VIC. They work to complement the natural regeneration of indigenous plants through weed control, improve wildlife habitat by installing nesting boxes and shelter plantings, and improve access for the general public.

POHAG meets on the second Sunday of the month. Meetings are usually followed by a walk, and visitors are always welcome. They are a welcoming and energetic group who enjoy the opportunity to work outside together and connect with the local bush.

Post Office Hill Reserve surrounds Chewton Primary School, and for the winter 2022 planting season POHAG members teamed up with Chewton Primary School students to revegetate sections of the creek line behind the school. The planting days were a wonderful success, with the local students learning much about the surrounding reserve. To read more on one of these planting days – click here

Andrew from POHAG working with Orlo from Chewton Primary School. (photo by John Ellis)

Post Office Hill Reserve was once covered in natural vegetation before being practically denuded during the 1852 gold rush. Thousands of enthusiastic souls from all over the world flocked to the Forest Creek diggings hoping to make their fortune. The land was up turned and folded on itself and left as ‘upside-down country’. POHAG’s work across the reserve encourages biodiversity to return to the landscape.

To keep up to date with what’s happening at POHAG, head over to their Facebook page – click here

You can also read of their latest adventure via the Chewton Chat (Chewton’s local newspaper) – click here

It is well worth having a look at Post Office Hill Reserve, especially during these spring months, and taking a walk through the reserve and see what wildflowers are on show. To find your way through the various walking tracks head to the corner of Mitchell St and Railway St in Chewton VIC, where you will find an information board about the reserve put together by POHAG.

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

         

 

Landcare Sticky Beak Tour October 2022 – Barkers Creek Landcare & Wildlife Group

Posted on 21 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Barkers Creek Landcare & Wildlife Group. 

Barkers Creek Landcare  & Wildlife Group (BCL&WG) work to protect and restore their local natural environment. The group is committed to celebrating and building their sense of belonging to the Barkers Creek community.

They maintain a balance between working on public and private land and members properties. The primary focus is ‘on ground works’ (monthly working bees) together with a ‘splash’ of educational and social activities.

Barkers Creek Landcare & Wildlife Group members. Photo from Barkers Creek Landcare Facebook page.

The group established in 1996 and has a vibrant mix of members  and there are often half a dozen or so children at each working bee which not only adds to the fun but instills a belief in the next generation of landcarers.

 

 

 

 

The group are currently working to put together the third management plan for a bushland reserve called the Natural Features Bushland Reserve in in the heart of Barkers Creek. They are hoping to achieve a significant ‘ecological’ restoration of this 35.5 ha parcel of bush, working closely with land managers Parks Victoria and other local community and environment groups. 

Join Barkers Creek Landcare & Wildlife Group on Sunday 23 October at 9.30 am at the Peelers Rd entrance to the Natural Features Bushland Reserve, Barkers Creek VIC (please see the map below for more details) for a working bee or just a sticky beak to see what the group are up to!

 

Map of Natural Features Bushland Reserve, Barkers Creek VIC. Photo from Barkers Creek Landcare & Wildlife Group website.

 

For more information on the group’s projects or to get in contact with them head over to their website – click here or their Facebook page – click here

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

       

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group

Posted on 20 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group. 

Muckleford Catchment Landcare, also known as Muckleford Landcare, take a holistic approach to caring for the land. They work to improve water quality in the Muckleford Creek and its tributaries, conserve soil in the Muckleford Creek catchment, and create a healthy and viable balance between farming and biodiversity. They also encourage co-operation between landholders within the catchment, as well as harnessing local knowledge and expertise to improve the environment.

30 m wide habitat corridor created by Muckleford Landcare (photo by Beth Mellick)

Recently Muckleford Landcare has been working with a Muckleford landholder to build a 30 metre wide habitat corridor that connects a bush block on one side of the property to a bushland reserve on the other side. The project involved some fencing, as well as ripping the site in preparation for planting. To read more about this project head over to the July 2022 edition of the North Central Chat, published by the North Central Catchment Management Authority – click here 

To check out the site of this ‘Building habitat across the landscape’ project, head out for a drive to Muckleford School Rd, Muckleford VIC, and you will see the work that has been completed opposite the Muckleford Bushland Reserve. Please see the map below for more details.

Muckleford Landcare work to assist landholders to access funding for land improvement projects on their properties. They have a wealth of information on the costs involved for improving biodiversity and building habitat corridors on your property.

For more information please contact Muckleford Landcare via email ( or mucklefordlandcare@gmail.com).

Building Habitat across the Landscape, Muckleford Landcare project map.

 

Wildflower walk

On Sunday 23 October 2022, Muckleford Landcare are heading out for a wildflower walk from 10.00 am – 11.30 am. To join the walk, meet at the end of Sinclairs Lane, Muckleford VIC. This is a perfect opportunity to get out and meet the group while enjoying the wildflowers. For more information head over to the Muckleford Catchment Landcare website – click here

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

     

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Maldon Urban Landcare Group

Posted on 19 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour during October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA).

Maldon Urban Landcare Inc. (MULGA) started in 1992, and was the first urban Landcare group in Victoria.  MULGA has continued to be active over the years, predominantly doing weed control and revegetation work on parts of the Maldon Historic Reserve (managed by Parks Victoria), including the South German Mine area, Long Gully, and, in recent years, Anzac Hill. In the 1990s MULGA also established 11 fenced exclosures to protect indigenous vegetation across the Maldon Historic Reserve.

 

From 2017, MULGA has pursued a major project surveying indigenous eucalypts that, due to their size, have likely been growing since before European settlement (1852). So far they have surveyed 314 old trees in and close to Maldon.

To learn more about these large old eucalypts and the fenced exclosures please visit MULGA’s webpage –  click here 

 MULGA’s main activities involve a monthly working bee on the first Sunday morning of the month, where the group carry out weed control work and regular monitoring of areas where they have previously worked. 

MULGA has worked to replace the trees at Anzac Circles on Anzac Hill, Maldon VIC. The Circles were originally planted with 64 Mahogany Gums in 1917, in memory of Maldon men who fought in World War I. There is only one original tree still alive. In 2017, the centenary of the planting, MULGA committed to spend its own funds to replant the Circles with native Yellow Gums (Eucalyptus leucoxylyn sub species pruinosa). The ground on Anzac Hill is really rocky and there is virtually no topsoil, so it’s amazing how well the plants are growing!  Near the carpark at the top of Anzac Hill, there is an information sign, with a QR code linking to the website of the Maldon Museum & Archives Association, where there is more information about the soldiers remembered.

Why not take a stroll up to Anzac Hill and check out the progress of MULGA’s plantings at the memorial site? To get there head up to Anzac Hill Road, Maldon VIC, as shown in the following map.

Map of Anzac Circles (image provided by Bev Philips)

 

MULGA have also coordinated a ‘pre 1852 eucalypts in Maldon’ project with the objectives to obtain detailed records for eucalypts that were growing before 1852 (pre-European settlement) in Maldon, and to achieve long-term protection for these trees under the Mt. Alexander Shire Council Planning Scheme, or an appropriate alternative scheme.  The large, old indigenous eucalypt trees still surviving in the township of Maldon are of significant environmental and historical significance, and are rare examples of pre-European settlement vegetation in an urban setting. There is a brochure called ‘Living Treasures’, which provides a map and information about some of the trees and is available in the Maldon Visitor Information Centre (in the Shire Gardens on High St, Maldon VIC, open every day).

For more information on Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA) and to become a member, please email them at

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Golden Point Landcare

Posted on 12 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Golden Point Landcare.

Many local residents will be familiar with the popular swimming spot at Expedition Pass Reservior in Golden Point, affectionately known as ‘the res’. Well, this special area has its very own Landcare group who care for the surrounding bushland.

Golden Point Landcare Group started back in 1994 and has worked in the Forest Creek catchment from Expedition Pass Reservoir to the Monster Meeting site in Chewton. They have partnered with private landholders and the various government agencies who have managed the crown land over that time.

The current public land manager is Parks Victoria and most of the catchment is in the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park.

The group’s main focus has been pest plant and animal management through funded projects complemented by community education programs. These activities place emphasis on helping the recovering landscape from the impacts of gold exploration starting back in 1851.

Sign post at Chinaman Point Road site (photo by Marie Jones)

One of Golden Point Landcare’s ongoing restoration sites is at Chinamans Point and Trapps Gully, which will be part of the Monster Meeting site walk. To check out some of the work they have been doing in this area, head to the intersection of Chinamans Point Road and Ammons Road in Golden Point VIC, and take a walk along the walking track.

They have the support of the ‘Chewton Chat’ community newspaper to keep everyone up to date with what is happening.

The Forest Creek walking track starts in Castlemaine, meanders through Chewton and follows the creek upstream to Expedition Pass Reservoir, passing through areas cared for by multiple Landcare groups. The amazing landscape restoration work that Landcare groups have achieved over the years means that everyone can enjoy our bushland and its creatures. But there’s always more to be done!

For more information on Golden Point Landcare Group or to become a member you can contact Jennifer Pryce via email (j.pryce@bigpond.com) or phone (0423 900 590).

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites! You never know what you might discover.

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Tarrangower Cactus Control Group

Posted on 10 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of the Landcare sticky beak tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander / Leanganook region of central Victoria.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Tarrangower Cactus Control Group.

Tarrangower Cactus Control Group is based in Maldon with the single objective to control Wheel Cactus plants in our local natural environment. The group originally formed in 2005 to help Parks Victoria control the infestations of Wheel Cactus in the Maldon Historic Reserve and to increase awareness of this weed species within the local community. They still focus on community education and landowner motivation, and continue to assist Parks Victoria to treat Wheel Cactus. 

 

This particular species of cactus was introduced from Mexico and is a declared Noxious Weed and a Weed of National Significance. The seeds are spread mostly by birds and is spreading quickly to other areas in the Mount Alexander Shire. Wheel Cactus is highly damaging for both our native plants and animals, and local primary industries. It is a very difficult plant to destroy or control, so it is vital to stop the spread of this highly invasive weed to new locations. 

Local Wheel Cactus infestation (photo by Lee Mead)

The photo of the Wheel Cactus infestation shows how dense and impenetrable infestations of Wheel Cactus become when untreated. 

To see the Cactus Warriors in action check out their video on our website –  click here

Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (also known as the Cactus Warriors) holds community field days around the Maldon district on either private properties or public land managed by Parks Victoria. These field days are open to everyone interested in learning how to control this noxious weed, and are advertised on their website and Facebook page.

The group can also loan out equipment and provide independent advice and assistance.

If you would like some information about or assistance with Wheel Cactus, please contact the Cactus Warriors via their website – click here  

During October 2022, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites!

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

Our land at contact with Newstead Landcare – UPDATE!

Posted on 10 October, 2022 by Frances

We received the following update from our friends at Newstead Landcare Group regarding thier AGM 2022 event:

Due to the high risk of floods today and tomorrow, in sorrowful mood we’ve decided to cancel the presentation by Barry Golding for our AGM tomorrow night.
Barry will do his presentation early in 2023. We will still have the AGM via Zoom (link and password below). The AGM will probably take about 20 minutes.

Newstead Landcare AGM 2022
13 October 2022 at 7.30 pm

To join the online AGM via Zoom – click here

 

Our land at contact

The arrival of Europeans in Australia produced profound changes across the continent. It can be hard to know exactly what the landscape looked like before this dramatic upheaval. The documents left by the earliest intruders can give us a few clues.

Professor Barry Golding of Federation University has combed through historical records to put together a picture of how the land around Newstead and its environs may have looked prior to contact. From the extensive permanent ponds on the Loddon containing literally tonnes of Murray Cod to the vast meadows of Yam Daisies (Myrnong), some of the descriptions Barry has found give us a glimpse of the extraordinary richness of our neck of the woods.

Barry will be presenting some of his findings at Newstead Landcare Group’s AGM on Thursday 13 October 2022. The presentation will start at 7.30 pm at Newstead Community Centre. A very brief AGM will follow. All are welcome to attend, gold coin donations appreciated.

Newstead Landcare Group  presentation
Presenter: Professor Barry Golding of Federation University 
When: TO BE CONFIRMED
Where: Newstead Community Centre, 9 Lyons St, Newstead VIC

The event will be postponed in the event of extreme weather or flooding.

For details on the Natural Newstead blog – click here

Yam Daisy or Myrnong (Microseris lanceolata) (photo by Frances Cincotta)

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group

Posted on 6 October, 2022 by Hadley Cole

 

As part of the Landcare Sticky Beak Tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook region.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group.

McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group work to protect and restore the natural environment in the McKenzie Hill and Diamond Gully area, highlighting its unique features for the benefit of the community now and for future generations.

 

As well as protecting and restoring biodiversity, the group has a vibrant and diverse membership of volunteers with a focus on social enjoyment and inclusiveness.

McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group member working hard. Photo by Amelia Stuparich

 

McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group have completed plantings and weed control at a site known as Seventy Foot Hill Reserve on Diamond Gully Road, Castlemaine VIC. Take yourself for a stroll and see what they have been up to this October! The wildflowers will be out and on display this time of year.

 

 

 

Please see the map below for directions on how to get to Seventy Foot Hill Reserve.

 

 

Map of work sites. Image from McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare Group brochure. Click image to enlarge.

 

To contact McKenzie Hill Action & Landcare group head over to our Landcare group contacts page on our website – click here or via their Facebook page – click here

This October, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites!

The Landcare sticky beak tour was made possible through a Victorian Landcare Grant with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

Landcare sticky beak tour – Book Now – Saturday 8 October 2022

Posted on 3 October, 2022 by Ivan

The Mount Alexander region Landcare sticky beak tour is a celebration of Landcare and friends groups across the region! Many of the natural spaces you can experience in our beautiful region have been lovingly brought back to life and cared for by the incredibly dedicated network of Landcare and friends groups of the region.

Our Landcare sticky beak tour provides an opportunity for our local Landcare and environment groups to showcase their work both online over the month of October 2022, and in person at the launch on Saturday 8 October 2022 at Honeycomb Reserve (end of Honeycomb Rd), Campbells Creek VIC from 10.00 am to 12 noon.

Connecting Country will launch the project in partnership with local Landcare and friends groups, with a walking tour in and around sites in the Campbells Creek area. This is a great opportunity to hear about the activities of local Landcare groups, meet some of the Landcarers and share their stories. Everyone is welcome and morning tea will be provided. Sturdy walking shoes and drink bottles are recommended.

Please book to assist us with planning.

To book for this free event – click here

If you have questions about the Landcare sticky beak tour please contact Connecting Country’s Landcare Facilitator, Hadley Cole – hadley@connectingcountry.org.au

This project is funded by North Central Catchment Management Authority as part of the Victorian Landcare Grants.

 

Landcare sticky beak tour 2022 – Castlemaine Landcare Group

Posted on 29 September, 2022 by Hadley Cole

 

As part of the Landcare Sticky Beak Tour in October 2022 we will be celebrating the work of Landcare and friends groups across the Mount Alexander/ Leanganook region.

Today we will have a little sticky beak into the wonderful work of Castlemaine Landcare Group.

 

Castlemaine Landcare Group volunteers hard at work (photo by Gerry Egan)

 

Castlemaine Landcare Group (CLG) has been running for 20 years and has achieved a great deal along Forest and Moonlight Creeks, close to the centre of Castlemaine VIC.  An area of gorse, blackberry and other weeds, has been transformed into a place of natural diversity and beauty. There is always more to do to encourage indigenous flora and fauna and deal with the ever-present weed challenges. CLG are a welcoming and well-organised group, and are always pleased to see new volunteers join their regular working bees.

To explore some of CLG work head to the Happy Valley (or Leanganook) walking track alongside Forest Creek, from Happy Valley Road to Colles Rd, or the stretch of Moonlight Creek from Happy Valley Rd downstream to Forest Creek. This is a beautiful part of the local environment and showcases Castlemaine Landcare’s work over 20 years. The area is shown on the map below, with marked access points (eg. E2) and our names for work areas (eg., The Copses). This area stretches for about 1 km, and can be approached as one walk, or in parts.

 CLG has about 40 members plus a number of other regular helpers.  They work predominantly on the Crown Land along the creek reserves, with some involvement of neighbouring landholders. Working bees are usually held every fortnight. 

Further details can be found on the CLG website (castlemainelandcare.org.au) or Facebook page (facebook.com/CastlemaineLandcare)

This October, get out there and explore your local neighbourhood and see what plants and animals you can find in your local Landcare group’s sites!

A happy Kookaburra enjoying the scenery (photo by Gerry Egan)

The Sticky Beak Tour was made possible through the Victorian Landcare Grants with the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

 

Landcare sticky beak tour – Saturday 8 October 2022

Posted on 21 September, 2022 by Hadley Cole

The Mount Alexander region Landcare sticky beak tour is a celebration of Landcare and friends groups across the region! Many of the natural spaces you can experience in our beautiful region have been lovingly brought back to life and cared for by the incredibly dedicated network of Landcare and friends groups of the region.

Our Landcare sticky beak tour provides an opportunity for our local Landcare and environment groups to showcase their work both online over the month of October 2022, and in person at the launch on Saturday 8 October 2022 at Honeycomb Reserve (end of Honeycomb Rd), Campbells Creek VIC from 10.00 am to 12 noon.

Connecting Country will launch the project in partnership with local Landcare and friends groups, with a walking tour in and around sites in the Campbells Creek area. This is a great opportunity to hear about the activities of local Landcare groups, meet some of the Landcarers and share their stories. Everyone is welcome and morning tea will be provided. Sturdy walking shoes and drink bottles are recommended.

Please book to assist us with planning.

To book for this free event – click here

If you have questions about the Landcare sticky beak tour please contact Connecting Country’s Landcare Facilitator, Hadley Cole – hadley@connectingcountry.org.au

This project is funded by North Central Catchment Management Authority as part of the Victorian Landcare Grants.

 

Rapid Response Landcare Recovery competition – and the winner is….

Posted on 7 September, 2022 by Hadley Cole

As part of our Rapid Response Landcare Recovery project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Connecting Country ran a competition for Landcare groups across the Mount Alexander region to win a plant voucher for 50 native plants plus 50 plant guards.

We had some very competitive entries, which made the decision too difficult. Thank you to all the groups who took the time to send in their entries. In the end we drew the winner out of the hat!

And the winner is…..Golden Point Landcare! 

Golden Point Landcare will use the 50 plants and guards to ‘replace a ghastly gorse plant with a gorgeous “good” plant in the Chinamans Point area to show what a difference one small act can make to the health of our local bush.’

Congratulations Golden Point Landcare! May all 50 plants flourish and thrive!

Connecting Country sincerely thanks the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for funding this project and making restoration efforts accessible for Landcare and friends groups across the region.

 

Local tubestock ready for planting (photo by Ivan Carter)