Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Funding for new Healthy Landscapes project

Posted on 23 July, 2020 by Ivan

Connecting Country has worked hard to secure funding and is pleased to confirm we have a brand new ‘Healthy Landscapes’ project through the Commonwealth government’s Smart Farms program. This project is about helping our local farmers and other landholders to manage their land sustainably for the benefit of wildlife, themselves and the broader landscape. We will develop a Healthy Landscapes guide book, especially targeted to the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria, and deliver a series of educational workshops for landholders on sustainable land management.

The Midland Express newspaper recently took an interest in this project and published an excellent article, including interviews with Bendigo Federal MP Lisa Chesters and Connecting Country’s Ivan Carter. To read the article – click here

Here is an overview of the one-year project, which will kick off in August 2020 with planning of the guidebook and workshops.

Healthy Landscapes guidebook

The guidebook will cover practical topics such as:

  • Reading your landscape: Assessing a property to identify natural assets (e.g., remnant vegetation and large old trees), threats (e.g., weeds, overgrazing, erosion), the need for shade and shelter for stock.
  • Property planning: Whole-property planning tailored to landholder needs and aspirations, to protect and enhance natural assets, increase farm productivity, reduce threats and build farm resilience.
  • Managing soil and water: Identifying soil types, managing soil erosion, building soil carbon, managing farm dams as habitat, fencing waterways and off-stream watering to improve water quality.
  • Promoting biodiversity: Fencing remnant vegetation, grazing exclusion, revegetation techniques, selecting revegetation areas and plants to achieve landscape connectivity, enhance remnant vegetation, protect soil and shelter stock.
  • Managing threats: Weed and pest animal identification, control methods, integrated pest management, staying ahead of new and emerging weeds using the latest online tools.


On-farm workshops

Three workshops will demonstrate examples of best practice sustainable farm management. Topics will reflect community interest, but may include:

  • Integrated weed management and tools to stay ahead of new and emerging weeds.
  • Value of native plant and animal assets within the farm ecosystem.
  • Shelterbelts for farm productivity and ecosystem health.
  • Birds as indicators of farm ecosystem health.

We aim to address the common questions we regularly get from landholders, and make the guidebook and workshops as useful as possible. Please let us know if there are any specific topics you’d like to see covered (email: info@connectingcountry.org.au).

Many landscapes in our region are leading examples of sustainable property management (photo by Jarrod Coote)

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