Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

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 ( or Facebook page (

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 –

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)


Rapid Response Landcare Recovery: thank you and good luck!

Posted on 1 September, 2022 by Hadley Cole

Photo from the Connecting Country archive

Thank you to all Landcare groups for your entries for the 2022 plants giveaway as part of our Rapid Response Landcare Recovery project. We received amazing responses from you all and it will be a tough decision!

We will be announcing the winner early next week so stay tuned via the Connecting Country blog and Facebook page. Good luck!

This opportunity was made possible due to the Rapid Response Landcare Recovery project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. 


A chance to win plants for your next Landcare project!

Posted on 24 August, 2022 by Jacqui

Landcare groups of the Mount Alexander region – we want to hear from you! 

We are delighted to announce a giveaway as part of our Rapid Response Landcare Recovery project. 

We encourage local Landcare groups to enter for a chance to win 50 plants and protective tree guards and stakes to use on one of your projects. 

To enter please answer this question in 100 words or less:
‘How would 50 plants and guards add value to one of your Landcare projects?’ 

Please respond via comments on this blog, email ( or on this post on the Connecting Country Facebook page. Make sure to identify your Landcare group in your response. 

Competition closes Wednesday 31 August 2022.

This competition is only open to Landcare groups within the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria.

Our Rapid Response Landcare Recovery project was made possible due to the generosity of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and their commitment to supporting the restoration and protection of sustainable environments across Victoria. 

Bonnie and Ivan from Connecting Country holding a selection of plants (photo by Jacqui Slingo)



Post Office Hill Action Group – Landcare Recovery planting

Posted on 11 August, 2022 by Hadley Cole

In mid-July 2022 Post Office Hill Action Group (POHAG) joined forces with Chewton Primary School for a morning of planting in the Post Office Hill Reserve behind the school in Chewton VIC. The plants ranged from sedges, wattles, and shrubs including species such as Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), Tall Sedge (Carex appressa), Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) and Showy Parrot-pea (Dillwynea sericea).

The prep/1/2 class showed great enthusiasm and local knowledge of Post Office Hill Reserve. Anna and Marie from Connecting Country joined the students and Post Office Hill Action Group volunteers to tackle planting out the creek line. The students worked full steam ahead and filled the holes in no time!

They then followed up with mulching the plants, securing them safely in their new homes. It was wonderful to see a local environment group teaming up with the next generation to tackle on ground conservation action and care for their local bush reserve.

Prep/1/2 students Rudy and Leif secure the plants in their new home (photo by John Ellis)

This planting was supported by Connecting Country’s ‘Rapid Response Landcare Recovery‘ project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust to help Landcare groups regain their momentum following the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on their activities.

Post Office Hill Action Group were supplied with 300 plants selected in consultation with Connecting Country’s Landscape Restoration Coordinator, Bonnie Humphreys.

Congratuations to Post Office Hill Action Group and Chewton Primary School for this valuable work, and thank you to the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for their ongoing commitment to supporting the restoration and protection of sustainable environments across Victoria.

Anna from Connecting Country chats with the students (photo by John Ellis)

Andrew from POHAG works with Orlo from the Prep/1/2 class (photo by John Ellis)



Sutton Grange Landcare Group – Landcare Recovery planting

Posted on 3 August, 2022 by Hadley Cole

Sutton Grange Landcare Group has been out and about enthusiastically planting a range of locally-grown tubestock plants to build habitat in the Sutton Grange area, located north east of Castlemaine in central Victoria. This work was supported by Connecting Country’s ‘Rapid Response Landcare Recovery‘ project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust to help Landcare groups regain their momentum following the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on their activities.

In early July 2022 the group got out on site, and with the young and the wise, planted a diverse range of lower and middle storey species. The planting was planned and the plants carefully selected with help from Connecting Country’s Landscape Restoration Coordinator, Bonnie Humphreys.

Enthusiastic planters at work (photo by Todd Ware)

Sutton Grange Landcare group photo! (photo by Todd Ware)

The group declared the planting day a great success!

‘We were blessed with a lovely sunny but cool morning, and a great team of volunteers – nine adults and seven children. We focussed our planting on a strip along Spring Creek with the aim of joining up the existing large trees with understory species such as Acacia, Hakea and Dianella. The Yellow Box trees in particular are habitat for the Tuan and we wanted to make a link between them for this species.


It is hoped that by adding mid-story shrubs that Tuans (and other native species) can safely move between the trees and have cover to hide from predators. It is also hoped that by planting more native species it will reduce invasion by St John’s Wort in this area. Where possible we dug out weed species and replaced them with a local native. Silver Banksia and Basket Sedge were planted lower down on the creek banks.


Overall it was a successful and fun day, and it was great to see our community learning about, caring for and connecting with the land on which we live. Sutton Grange Landcare Group sincerely thanks Bonnie [from Connecting Country] for organising the plants.’

Connecting Country congratulates Sutton Grange Landcare Group for all the amazing work they do to enhance and protect biodiversity in their pocket of the greater Mount Alexander region.

This project was made possible due to the generosity of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and their commitment to supporting the restoration and protection of sustainable environments across Victoria.


Seeking planters! National Tree Day in Castlemaine – 31 July 2022

Posted on 26 July, 2022 by Frances

Well, the big day is nearly here and Castlemaine Landcare Group is looking for more planters to join their special planting and celebrate National Tree Day 2022.

Planting at Moonlight Creek – Sunday 31 July 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm

Castlemaine Landcare Group invites the community to join them this National Tree Day. Come along and help strengthen the Moonlight Creek vegetation corridor from Forest Creek to Kalimna Park, adjacent to Castlemaine in central Victoria. This corridor provides a vital refuge for local plants and animals, and helps them move through the landscape.

It is a flat, open site where people can spread out in the fresh air as they plant. The grassy site is suitable for families and wheelchair access is possible.

There will be a free BBQ with our faithful Lions Club. Please put this date in your diary now and ask your friends along.

All are welcome, but they especially need people with experience in identifying local native plants and/or tubestock planting.

For more information about what to bring and where to park, please visit Castlemaine Landcare’s website – click here

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Castlemaine Landcare volunteers prepare for National Tree Day 2022 (photo by Castlemaine Landcare Group)


This work is supported by a Victorian Landcare Grant through the North Central Catchment Management Authority.


McKenzie Hill Action and Landcare Group – Landcare recovery planting

Posted on 20 July, 2022 by Hadley Cole

McKenzie Hill Action Group members hard at work (photo by Amelia Stuparich)

McKenzie Hill Action and Landcare Group has been busy planting 300 indigenous tubestock plants to restore habitat in the Mckenzie Hill area. This work was supported by Connecting Country’s ‘Rapid Response Landcare Recovery’ project funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust to help Landcare groups regain their momentum following the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on their activities.


McKenzie Hill Action Group member hammering into the hard rocky hillside (photo by Amelia Stuparich)

In late May 2022 the group planted a diverse range of ground covers, sedges, shrubs and trees, including Matted bush pea (Pultanea pudunculata), Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus ) and Silver Banksia (Banksia marginata), to name a few. The planting was planned and the plants carefully selected with help from Connecting Country’s Landscape Restoration Coordinator, Bonnie Humphreys.

McKenzie Hill Action and Landcare Group reported that ‘It was a very productive planting day at Seventy Foot Hill (Diamond Gully Road McKenzie Hill) with seven intrepid planters making light work of just over 200 plants’. The holes were pre-dug, so it was fast going, with one person making up guards and others planting or lugging buckets of water to sustain the new babies. The remaining plants were put in the following week, by two committed Landcarers. The new plants have made a positive impact on the landscape already, and will add to the biodiversity of the area by providing under story habitats for small birds, animals and insects.’

Plants ready to be placed in their new home (photo by Amelia Stuparich)

Connecting Country congratulates McKenzie Hill Action and Landcare Group for all the amazing work they do to enhance and protect biodiversity in their pocket of the greater Mount Alexander region.

This project was made possible due to the generosity of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and their commitment to supporting the restoration and protection of sustainable environments across Victoria.


A successful Landcare Link-up for winter 2022

Posted on 22 June, 2022 by Hadley Cole

On 2 June 2022 Connecting Country hosted a Landcare Link-up with the theme of ‘Getting to know Connecting Country’. Our Landcare Link-ups provide an opportunity for Landcare and Friends groups of the Mount Alexander region to come together and share information, knowledge and experience. Historically, Connecting Country hosts a Landcare Link-up twice a year.

The event was held at the lovely historical Chewton Town Hall on a cold winters evening. Attendees came far and wide from Sutton Grange, Nuggety and Redesdale and represented eight Landcare groups from the region. Frances Howe and Brendan Sydes from Connecting Country gave a brief presentation on the work Connecting Country is involved in outside of Landcare, which covers community engagement, landscape restoration, and biodiversity monitoring.

Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to understand more about Connecting Country as an organisation and meet some of the staff and committee members who make all the work happen. It was also a great chance for neighbouring Landcare groups to discuss some of the restoration challenges they have on the ground and compare notes on the various landscapes they are working across.

We all enjoyed a hot and tasty vegetable soup and crusty bread for dinner followed by cakes and biscuits for dessert, which were all made possible by generous donations from wonderful local businesses Green Goes the Grocer, Sprout Bakery and Maxi IGA Castlemaine. It is heartwarming to know that local business will dig deep when it comes to supporting our local Landcare groups who do an amazing job in protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the Mount Alexander Region.

A special thank you to Hadley, Marie and Bonnie for setting up the venue and making the soup!

If you would like to connect with your local Landcare or Friends group – click here

To find out more about Landcare in the region, please contact our local Landcare Facilitator, Hadley –


Revitalising Forest Creek in urban Castlemaine – have your say

Posted on 1 June, 2022 by Frances

Our friends at Castlemaine Landcare Group have an exciting vision to revitalise Forest Creek in urban Castlemaine VIC, building on their successful restoration of the creek corridor to date. They now seek feedback on this vision, via an online survey. Please read on for details from the group about the project.

Castlemaine Landcare Group is working on a collaborative project to revitalise the section of Forest Creek from Ten Foot Bridge downstream to Barker St, Castlemaine. This is the stretch of Forest Creek that was redirected between stone walls during the gold rush era to protect the town centre from flooding.

Together with our partners in the Forest Creek Revitalisation Project – Mount Alexander Shire Council, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises trading as Djandak and Friends of Campbells Creek – we have appointed a consultant, Alluvium, to assist us to collect the views of the local community and to help prepare a design for the proposed revitalisation.

The vision for this project is to create a more natural form for the creek as it flows between the historic walls and to provide opportunities for people to enjoy a rich natural environment by improving water quality, habitat, amenity and access.

We would like to hear your ideas about whether you think that vision is appropriate and about any features you would like considered within the creek itself and along the banks.

We have created an online survey that will be open until 17 June 2022 and we invite you to let us know what you think. To give us your ideas, please go to the online survey at:

Alluvium will then put the ideas from the survey together into a draft design that we will bring back to the community for further comment. When you go online, you can register for survey updates by clicking on the link in the right hand column of the Social Pinpoint page.

Further information on the overall project is also available at or by emailing We look forward to your participation and contribution.

Christine Kilmartin (President, Castlemaine Landcare Group)
Kaye Swanton (Convenor, Implementation Group)


Landcare Link-up event – getting to know Connecting Country

Posted on 26 May, 2022 by Hadley Cole

We are hosting a Landcare Link-up event for Landcarers  of  the Mount Alexander region with the theme Getting to know ConnectinCountry. Landcare group and friends group members come along and join us and learn more about the work Connecting Country does. It is also a wonderful opportunity to get together with neighbouring Landcarers in the region.

When: Thursday 2 June 2022 from 6.00-8.00 pm
Where:  Chewton Town Hall, 141 Main Rd, Chewton VIC


We will also hold a Landcare open mic session where you can have your say about Landcare in the region. A soup supper will be provided.

Please register your attendance via the following link before 5.00 pm on Sunday 29 May 2022:

For more information please contact

We look forward to seeing you there!



Wheel Cactus community field day – Sunday 29 May 2022

Posted on 25 May, 2022 by Ivan

Old and new volunteers alike are invited to Tarrangower Cactus Control Group’s next Community Field Day on Sunday 29 May 2022 near Maldon VIC.  Read on for more details from our friends the Cactus Warriors.

Cactus killers wanted!

Tarrangower Cactus Control Group will launch its 2022 season with a community field day.

Where: Near the corner of Watersons and Tarrengower School Roads. Tarrengower VIC
When: From 10.30 am to 12.30 pm pm Sunday 29 May 2022

Come along, enjoy the fresh air, kill some cactus and then join us for a free cuppa and sausage sizzle. Everyone is welcome.

Wheel Cactus is a noxious weed that affects many landowners in our region (photo: Cactus Warriors)


The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group Inc. (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, on the last Sunday of the month from May to October. These field days always end with a free BBQ lunch, cuppa and cake and 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 our unique environment. Everyone is welcome, no previous experience is required and all equipment is supplied. View the video below to catch the ‘cactus warriors’ in action.

For more information visit


Intrepid Landcare take a walk at Leanganook 15 May 2022

Posted on 9 May, 2022 by Hadley Cole

Intrepid Landcare  – Mount Alexander region is a local group for 18 – 35 year olds looking to connect with Country and care for our environment here in central Victoria. Their monthly activities include working bees, educational sessions, nature walks and outdoor adventures.

Join Intrepid Landcare on Sunday 15 May 2022 for an informal walk up on Leanganook (Mount Alexander) from Leanganook Picnic Ground to Dog Rocks. We’ll meet near the toilet block at 11.00 amBYO picnic lunch and thermos if you’d like to stay for lunch afterwards. No RSVP is needed.

If you like birding, bring your binoculars!

Be sure to dress warmly and wear sturdy walking shoes, the rocks on the Mount can be very slippery. Here is a photo from our walk up there in 2019, where we scored bonus snow!


Intrepid Landcarers enjoying a nature walk (photo by Asha Bannon)


Leanganook is a beautiful and culturally important place. Here’s a great video with Uncle Trent Nelson sharing insights about its significance from Djaara perspective: click here


If you have any questions, text or call Asha on 0418 428 721 or email

As with all Intrepid Landcare activities, this is a COVID-safe event. All attendees are asked to be fully vaccinated and follow any current COVID-19 restrictions. This is a child-friendly event, noting that kids must be under parent/carer supervision at all times.


Clean Up Australia Day – Sunday 6 March 2022

Posted on 3 March, 2022 by Ivan

Clean Up Australia is happening this Sunday 6 March 2022, 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 31 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 on Sunday 6 March include:

  • Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare – Meet at Winters Flat footbridge from 8.00 to 10.00 am. For more information – click here
  • Golden Point Landcare – Expedition Pass Reservoir from  10.00 am to 12.00 noon. Bring gloves, bags provided. For more information contact Jen Pryce (ph: 0423900 590).
  • Sutton Grange Landcare Group – Meet at Sutton Grange Hall at 9.00 am. For more information contact Zane Tronson  (ph: 0410 597 485).

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

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


Adapting to climate change impacts with Campaspe Valley Landcare

Posted on 17 February, 2022 by Ivan

In conjunction with the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network (UCLN), Campaspe Valley Landcare Group are hosting a free presentation on Adapting to the impacts of Climate Change.

Dona Cayetana – Community and Partnerships Officer with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning – will present at the session on Saturday 26 February 2022 at 3 pm in Redesdale, VIC. Dona will discuss the new Victorian Government initiative designed to empower communities to prepare and adapt to the impacts of climate change set around six Regional Climate Change Adaption Strategies.

The initiative was announced in the January 2022 edition of Southern Farmer by Minister for Energy, Environment, and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, who stated ‘This is another example of how we’re delivering real action on climate change by supporting communities to deliver their local projects and build thriving and sustainable futures.’

When: Saturday 26 February 2022 at 3.00 pm
Where: Redesdale Hall, Recreation reserve, corner of Lyell Rd and Kyneton-Heathcote Rd, Redesdale VIC
Cost: Free

Topics include:

  • Preparing for and recovering from emergencies
  • Caring for the natural environment
  • Carbon farming
  • Citizen science biodiversity monitoring program
  • Improving health and well being
  • Strengthening the economy
  • Clean energy
  • Funding possibilities and incentives

Bookings are essential as COVID-safe seating is limited to 50 people. Contact UCLN facilitator, Rebekah, via phone (0432 491 252) or email (, or call Rob ((03) 5425 3258 after 5.30 pm). Please leave your contact details or a message if no one is available to take your call and you will be contacted as soon as possible.

Please stay home if you feel unwell. COVID-19 safety protocols apply at this event.


The wellbeing benefits of being a Landcarer

Posted on 17 February, 2022 by Frances

The Mount Alexander region of central Victoria is blessed with around 30 active Landcare and Friends groups, representing an extremely high level of community involvement in the Landcare movement.

Being a Landcarer can be extremely hard work, but there are also many rewards. There is the satisfaction of contributing to a healthy landscape, and creating habitat for native plants and animals. We also recognise there are benefits from connecting to the land, meeting people, making social connections and learning new skills. New research now shows Landcare can also improve personal wellbeing.

For decades, people involved in Landcare have testified to a greater sense of self, both physically and mentally, resulting from closer links with their local community and environment. This, in turn, has boosted community wellbeing and it has long been the desire of the Landcare movement to quantify the significance of these benefits.

Now, Landcare Australia has published findings by KPMG Australia, indicating Landcare volunteers enjoy substantial improvements to their mental and physical wellbeing – with a significant decrease to their healthcare costs!

Surveying more than 1,000 Landcare volunteers and coordinators from Landcare groups, the findings in the report, titled Building resilience in local communities: The wellbeing benefits of participating in Landcare suggest substantial improvements in wellbeing owing to involvement in Landcare lead to approximate savings from avoided healthcare costs of $403 per individual per year. For the Landcare movement which exceeds 140,000 individuals, that number equates to $57 million nationally.

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The report goes on to address additional savings to the Landcare volunteer community relating to productivity, and benefits owing to natural disaster resilience and recovery, with the combined value amounting to $191 million annually.

To read the full report – click here

To view Connecting Country’s short video celebrating Landcare in the Mount Alexander region – click here

To get involved in your local Landcare group – click here

For any other questions related to our local landcare groups in the Mount Alexander region, contact Connecting Country’s Landcare Facilitator Hadley –


Landcare community day at Muckleford – 6 February 2022

Posted on 2 February, 2022 by Frances

Our friends at Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group are getting ready for their next event and you’re invited!

Please read on for details about the upcoming community day from Muckleford Landcare. They are an active group of people working to conserve and improve the health of the Muckleford Creek catchment, located west of Castlemaine in central Victoria. To learn more about Muckleford Landcare’s activities – click here

Muckleford Landcare Habitat Corridor Project is funded by the Victorian State Government, Community Volunteer Action Grants 2021.The Landcare community day will be on Sunday 6 February 2022, starting at 3 pm. Muckleford Landcare will attempt to install guards around 3,000 plants in the habitat corridor with  help from Landcare volunteers. All Landcarers and other community members are welcome to join in, especially if you’ve been missing out on activities during the last couple of years.

A vegetarian BBQ will be provided for dinner, as I’m hoping we can work until dusk. There will be free booklets and guides available at the information table, and food and drinks will be provided. Meet the landowners and take part in the project story-telling.

Entry to the property is along the Muckleford School Road, opposite the Muckleford Bushland Reserve in Muckleford VIC – look out for the Landcare banner.

Please RSVP to Beth Mellick for catering purposes – click here

Ready for planting (photo by Muckleford Landcare)


Preparing plant guards (photo by Muckleford Landcare)


Gypsy and Anusheh raise money for Connecting Country!

Posted on 12 January, 2022 by Ivan

Gypsy and Anusheh at their lucky dip stall (photo by Robyn Matthews)

Gypsy and Anusheh, both in Grade 3 at Violet Street Primary School in Bendigo VIC, held a fundraiser for Connecting Country in November 2021. The girls did a fantastic job of arranging a lucky dip that cost 50 cents per dip. It was so successful they had 204 dips in the basket, which saw a line-up of students waiting for their turn, and raised an impressive total of $104!

The Connecting Country team are so proud to know these young advocates for our natural landscape. Connecting Country’s Landcare Facilitator, Hadley, interviewed the girls to find out what inspired them and what they love most about their local natural environment.



Q. What inspired you both to hold a fundraiser for Connecting Country?

Gypsy – I really like birds and native plants and basically native everything. We live in the sort of place where there is lots of native birds and stuff that I can look around at and like, and that kind of inspired me.

Anusheh – Well we get to see a lot of birds at our place. So I like the birds because they look pretty and when we go for walks I like how they sing and all of the different tress that they can go into.

Q. What do you love most about the natural environment where you live?

Anusheh – It’s probably the birds that I can see just sitting out the window in the trees and I can just look at them.

Gypsy – I like waking up to chirping birds making all different songs, it’s really relaxing. And going on walks seeing native plants, it’s really relaxing. We live on the Bendigo Coliban Water chase and there are lots of birds around the chase.

Violet Street Primary School students lining up for the lucky dip (photo by Robyn Matthews)

Q. What inspires you to look after and protect our landscapes and environment across Central Victoria?

Gypsy – I knew that Connecting Country would be the right place because they help lots of native things like native birds and native plants and native animals, and they’re really good with it. It’s important to me because I really like animals and I really like birds and I really think they should have a habitat just like we do.

Anusheh – When I got a dog she kept finding these dead birds around our house but we know she can’t catch them because she’s still a bit young to catch them. So I thought if I can help them [the birds] I think it would help and my dog won’t catch as many birds and maybe be a bit kinder to birds.

Q. What do you know about Landcare?

Gypsy – I know that my Dad is the Vice President of our local Landcare. I’ve also been to Camp out on the Mount.

Gypsy, Anusheh and another student counting the funds (photo by Robyn Matthews)

Q. Who are your role models?

Anusheh – I think it would probably be my parents, my teachers and some of my friends.

Gypsy – Asha [former Connecting Country staff member], because she’s really passionate, kind, funny, nice and I helped her at Camp out on the Mount, and my Dad.

Q. What do you hope to achieve when you grow up?

Gypsy – To be part of helping stopping climate change and the greenhouse effect, which is probably the worst effect you can get.

Anusheh – Probably to help so there won’t be as much plastic just floating around.



Q. What is your favourite bird or other animal?

Anusheh – Probably a Kookaburra

Gypsy – My favourite animals are sharks, snakes, and my favourite birds, I’ve got a lot. I can’t say all of them but a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, a Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, a Long-billed Corella and a Short-billed Corella, Powerful Owl, Diamond Firetail, a Wedge-tailed Eagle and a thousand more!

The Connecting Country team send Gypsy and Anusheh a big thank you for their amazing efforts, and for taking the time to answer the interview questions. What wonderful initiative and commitment they have shown. Well done girls!







Farewell Asha and welcome Hadley: a new Landcare Facilitator

Posted on 3 November, 2021 by Ivan

We recently said ‘goodbye’ to our much-loved Landcare Facilitator, colleague and friend, Asha Bannon. Asha has been an incredible asset to Connecting Country over the past (nearly) six years. She has provided inspiration and dedication to the role of Landcare Facilitator for the Mount Alexander region, and will be missed by the 30+ local groups who shared in her passion, vision and wisdom. Her commitment to the groups was a juggling act, with Asha often attending multiple events over a single weekend. Asha’s efforts have made a huge difference to the local landscape and the Landcare community.

We wish Asha the very best in her new role at North Central Catchment Management Authority, and are thrilled she will stay involved as a Connecting Country volunteer and supporter. Thanks also to all the Landcarers who have supported Asha during this time.

As one-star moves to another galaxy, another arrives. We have been very fortunate to recruit a new Landcare Facilitator – another local talent – Hadley Cole. We welcome Hadley with open arms and endless Zoom calls, and hope she enjoys the role and the team, as we regroup after a lengthy COVID-related ‘home office’ period.

Local resident Hadley Cole joins Connecting Country with a wealth of knowledge in landscape restoration. Photo: Connecting Country


Introducing Hadley

Hadley Cole has lived and worked in Central Victoria for the past ten years. Growing up in North East Victoria, she developed a strong love for nature and a keen interest in agriculture. Her career has spanned multiple environmental management roles with both government and non-government organisations. Hadley has worked with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries, along with community groups such as Wombat Forestcare and Merri Creek Management Committee. She brings an array of skills and knowledge on landscape restoration, invasive species management and how to empower community groups. Her experience gives Hadley a sound knowledge of the key conservation issues within central Victoria.

Hadley lives in Guildford with her young family, and has been actively involved in local community-based projects in the Guildford area. She is passionate about regenerative farming and enjoys spending her time in the garden and in nature with her family.

Hadley is delighted to join the Connecting Country team as Landcare Facilitator for the Mount Alexander region, as she believes strongly in the power of community, and values the knowledge and passion volunteers bring to local conservation projects.

We are super-excited to have Hadley on board, please say hello to Hadley via her email:


Please enjoy a few photos of Asha and some of the wonderful events she coordinated over the past few years. Farewell and thank you Asha!