Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Renovation rescue: nestboxes for Brush-tailed Phascogales

Posted on 22 May, 2019 by Ivan

Brush-tailed Phascogales (also known as Tuan) were once widespread across Victoria. Unfortunately habitat destruction and introduced predators mean their range is now severely reduced and fragmented. The species is listed as Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, and considered vulnerable to localised extinction. Lack of old trees with nesting hollows is likely to limit recovery of this hollow-dependent species.

In 2010 Connecting Country began a nestbox program across the Mount Alexander region, installing nestboxes designed specifically for use by Brush-tailed Phascogales. We now have over 450 nestboxes on private and public land, located systematically across the landscape to allow scientific analysis of results to better understand their distribution and habitat preferences in our landscape. Nestboxes were monitored in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, providing a significant volume of data.

After eight years, many of the nestboxes needed maintenance and repair, and our monitoring program needed renovating. Thanks to the Wettenhall Environment Trust, Connecting Country has secured a small environmental grant for our ‘Renovation rescue’ project to maintain and repair the nestboxes, and update the monitoring program.

The overall project aim is to effectively monitor and support local Brush-tailed Phascogale populations and distribution. Specific aims for this project are to:

  • Analyse existing nestbox monitoring data collected between 2011 and 2018, using qualified scientists from a partner institution.
  • Review implications for the ongoing nestbox program and identify any required changes to the program to ensure we are achieving our aims.
  • Contact landholders with nest boxes to update their contact details, record any changes in land ownership, and engage with any new land owners regarding nestboxes on their property.
  • Maintain, repair, renovate and/or replace existing nestboxes as required, including removal of feral bees. This will ensure continued availability of nesting habitat for phascogales, while also allowing for our future data collection to remain as consistent as possible.
  • Update the existing database of landholders with nestboxes and confirm nestbox GPS coordinates.
  • Prepare a report summarising nestbox monitoring results and implications.
  • Provide results of the latest nestbox monitoring directly to landholders, and to the community via our website, blog and other publications.

Connecting Country will also review our long-term nestbox monitoring data to identify any implications or required changes for the ongoing program to maximise its success. Renovation of existing nestboxes and updating our databases will facilitate ongoing project longevity.

Andrew Bennett, Professor of Ecology at La Trobe University, wrote these words regarding Connecting Country’s nestbox monitoring program:

‘The monitoring programs that Connecting Country are carrying out in their local region are valuable for several reasons. First, they are being undertaken in a careful way, such that the results obtained have the potential to provide meaningful new knowledge about the flora and fauna of the local area and changes through time. This is not always the case with community projects. Connecting Country have taken care in planning their projects and carrying them out in a consistent way. Second, their programs have a strong community element, with opportunity for community members to engage, learn about nature and to see the outcomes. In this regard, their activities are an excellent example of one of the central themes of the recent Victorian Biodiversity Strategy of ‘Connecting People with Nature’’.

A Tuan in a nest box (photo by Jess Lawton)


With limited funding, our ongoing nestbox monitoring relies on our amazing volunteers. For more information regarding our nestboxes and how to be involved with the program, please click here.


Community grants for Gorse control

Posted on 22 May, 2019 by Ivan

The Victorian Gorse Task Force offers grants for community education and assistance with removal or treatment of Gorse (Ulex europaeus).

Gorse is a listed Weed of National Significance. It was introduced to Victoria in the 1800s as a hedge plant but quickly became one of our most invasive and destructive weeds. The dense evergreen gorse shrub can grow to several metres high and wide. It has deep and extensive roots, very prickly stems and it thrives in areas with low rainfall. The yellow flower of gorse is easily seen across Victoria’s rural landscapes during warmer months.

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce supports communities to reduce gorse in their local area, including providing the following grants:

  • Small Community Grants Program provides up to $5,000 for small-scale gorse control on individual properties (2 or more). It mainly provides funding to rebate 50 per cent of costs for landholders to undertake gorse control.
  • Large Community Grants Program provides up to $30,000 for community-led gorse control education and treatment across a local landscape. It provides funding for a project officer as well as rebates to landholders.

If gorse is a problem on your land or across your local community, you’re encouraged to apply. Speak with neighbours or your local Landcare group to determine how many landholders are interested and the extent of the gorse infestations, and develop a project.

Applications for current funding close on 1 June 2019. For more details on the grants and how to apply, please click here

Gorse taking over a waterway in Victoria’s Central Highlands (photo by Victorian Gorse Task Force)

Gorse removed in the same waterway (photo by Victorian Gorse Task Force)


Launch of 2019 Wheel Cactus season

Posted on 20 May, 2019 by Asha

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group continues to ‘wage war on Wheel Cactus’. Here’s some information for the 2019 season launch:

We’re very pleased that our Mount Alexander Shire Tarrangower Ward Councillor, Stephen Gardner, will be ‘cutting the ribbon’ for the launch of our 2019 season of Community Field Days, on Sunday 26 May at 10.30 am.

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters, including Parks Victoria, Mount Alexander Shire Council and North Central Catchment Management Authority, we hold these field days on the last Sunday of every month from May to October, to demonstrate how best to destroy Wheel Cactus.

Please come and join us for a rewarding morning in the outdoors. We supply all the necessary equipment; all you need are sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants and a hat.

The location for this field day is in Cairn Curran Rd. To get there, follow Watersons Rd to Cairn Curran Rd, turn left and follow the road around the reservoir and the property will be on the left opposite the reservoir; the route will be well signposted. The morning’s activities always end with a delicious BBQ lunch and friendly chat. These events are family friendly, but children must be accompanied by a parent at all times. If you have any queries please contact us via our website at

Cactus Warrior volunteers at work on a Community Field Day (photo by Lee Mead)

Launch of 2019 season of Wheel Cactus season
When: Sunday 26 May 2019 at 10:30 am
Where: Cairn Curran Rd, Baringhup VIC (follow Watersons Rd to Cairn Curran Rd, turn left, continue around the reservoir and the property is on the left opposite the reservoir)
Bring: sturdy shoes, long sleeves and pants, and a hat
Further info: contact Tarrangower Cactus Control Group via their website at


Nuggetty to Shelbourne railway walk – 19 May 2019

Posted on 16 May, 2019 by Asha

Join Nuggetty Land Protection Group for a walk from Nuggetty to Shelbourne along the old railway track this Sunday. A community bus will carry you to the start of the walk. The walk from there is approximately 13 kilometres to Shelbourne Railway Station. However the bus will meet walkers at the intersections of roads so you can have a lift back to your car if you need to.

When: Sunday 19 May 2019 at 9:30 am

Where to meet: Nuggetty Peace Monument, Nuggetty School Road, Nuggetty VIC. Parking is available.

What to bring: Lunch. Tea and coffee will be available at Bradford Siding. Wear walking shoes, hats and other weather-appropriate clothing.

Bookings and more information: Please make sure you book by contacting Jane Mitchell (0457 729 132) or Christine Fitzgerald (0419 347 408) from Nuggetty Land Protection Group.

The event will be cancelled if weather inclement.


Do stuff that matters with Intrepid Landcare

Posted on 15 May, 2019 by Asha

Intrepid Landcare will kick-start in the Mt Alexander region of central Victoria in August 2019 with a weekend retreat for passionate young people!

The retreat is open to anyone aged 16 – 35 years who is up for making a difference and having some good fun doing it.

Intrepid Landcare retreat

Where: Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park, Castlemaine, VIC

When: Friday 9 August to Sunday 11 August 2019

Further info: CLICK HERE to apply or for further information

To avoid disappointment, please submit your application as soon as possible!

The leadership retreat will be the perfect place to connect to other young like-minded people, hear from awesome inspiring speakers, get your hands dirty with an action-packed weekend of adventure, conservation, cultural immersion and discovering what opportunities exist across the Mt Alexander and Central Victoria regions with Landcare.

To make these opportunities accessible to as many young people as possible, successful applicants will be generously supported by North Central Catchment Management Authority and Connecting Country through funding from the Victorian Landcare Program. This support covers all catering, accommodation and a carefully packaged leadership development program tailored to meet the needs of young people passionate about the environment.

CLICK HERE to download the flier and share it with your friends!



Myrnong (yam daisy) talk – 23 May 2019

Posted on 15 May, 2019 by Frances

Castlemaine Landcare Group is holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) along with a talk by Brian Bainbridge on conserving the Murnong, or yam daisy. The sweet tubers of the Murnong were a staple food for Aboriginal people. Myrnong was widespread in our region prior to European settlement, and there is now considerable interest in restoring them to our landscape.

Brian is a Taradale resident and has been the Biodiversity Officer at Hepburn Shire for just over a year. He has over twenty years experience working with Merri Creek Management Committee, an artist’s eye, and a drive to explore Central Victoria’s nature. Brian has been involved in planting of Murnong along Merri Creek and will talk about what he learned from those efforts.

After Brian’s talk, there will be some other brief talks on bird monitoring, water watchers, creek history and a waterway plan.

Castlemaine Landcare Group AGM and Myrnong talk

When: 7.30 pm on Thursday 23 May 2019
Where: Castlemaine Primary School (corner of Urquhart and Forest Streets, Castlemaine VIC)
Further information: Contact Castlemaine Landcare Group –  click here

All are cordially invited to attend.


Nestbox monitoring with Muckleford Catchment Landcare – 19 May 2019

Posted on 14 May, 2019 by Asha

Want to find out who’s hiding in the nestboxes in Walmer? Join Muckleford Catchment Landcare this Sunday to look for threatened Brush-tailed Phascogales and other wildlife. They will use a special camera to do a live-stream of what’s inside the nestboxes, and enter data into the Atlas of Living Australia.

When: Sunday 19 May 2019 at 10.00 am
Where: Walmer Conservation Reserve (Muckleford-Walmer Road, Walmer VIC)
More information: call Beth on 0431 219 980

Sugar Gliders in a Connecting Country nestbox (photo by Beth Mellick)


Maldon ‘Living Treasures’ walk – 1 June 2019

Posted on 13 May, 2019 by Asha

Maldon Urban Landcare Group (MULGA) is holding a walk around some of Maldon’s ‘Living Treasures’ on Saturday 1 June 2019 at 9.30 am, starting at the rotunda in Maldon Shire Gardens in High St, Maldon VIC. This is your chance to discover some of Maldon’s very old trees, and also learn how to identify local indigenous eucalypts. It will be an easy walk to Bill Woodfull Reserve and Maldon Primary School, followed by morning tea. The walk will be cancelled if it’s raining.

CLICK HERE to learn more about MULGA’s work mapping and protecting Maldon’s ‘Living Treasures’.

For more information, contact MULGA Secretary Bev Phillips by phone (0407 770 350) or email (

Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) at Bill Woodfull Reserve, estimated age 530 years (photo by Bev Phillips)


Safe and skilled: Training for local Landcare groups

Posted on 9 May, 2019 by Ivan

In 2017, Connecting Country successfully obtained a grant from the Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning to deliver a series of training workshops to the region’s Landcare and other community groups. The aim was to provide practical support to local Landcarers and other community members, and strengthen their groups’ capacity to be safe, self-sufficient and sustainable.

Connecting Country supports and works closely with around 30 Landcare and Friends groups in the Mount Alexander region of central Victoria, as well as many other landholders and volunteers. To enhance the practical support we provide, we have been running free training for Landcare groups, Connecting Country staff and committee, and other community members in governance, financial management, health and safety, and first aid.

This training will enable Connecting Country and our local groups to operate more effectively, follow safe work practices, respond to first aid emergencies, increase robustness of financial management, and improve their organisational practices. Governance training and financial training for committee members of local groups helps them be more efficient, and more aware of relevant government regulations, their accountability and obligations to their members. First aid training gives people the knowledge and confidence to address emergency health situations that may arise during working bees and other events.

Community education is a core activity of Connecting Country, as defined in our Strategic Plan. Annually since 2010, we’ve coordinated a comprehensive program of educational and capacity building events for local landholders, Landcare and Friends groups, staff, committee and the community in general. From a variety of methods (e.g., feedback forms, evaluations, steering group meetings, Landcare Link-up sessions), Landcare groups and their members have made us aware of the types of training and capacity building activities that would be most beneficial.

Participant feedback on the training has been extremely positive. If you are interested in hearing more about future training opportunities, please subscribe to our Enews, or contact Asha Bannon on 5472 1594 or



Stu and a python snake at a recent event (photo by Lou Citroen)


Reconciliation Week – 26 May to 2 June 2019

Posted on 9 May, 2019 by Ivan

National Reconciliation Week 2019 is part of the Reconciliation Movement’s efforts to support Australians in making progress on the Five Dimensions required to achieve reconciliation. Each year the theme engages with one of the Five Dimensions.

This year’s theme focuses on building positive race relations: ‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage’.

There are some great local events happening around Castlemaine, involving one of Connecting Country’s local partners – Nalderun. Details are provided in the poster below.




Conserving the Turquoise Parrot – talk on 10 May 2019

Posted on 9 May, 2019 by Ivan

Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club have a very special speaker for their May 2019 General Meeting.

The Turquoise Parrot – conservation successes in north east Victoria

Speaker: Chris Tzaros, wildlife ecologist, photographer and author of ‘Wildlife of the Box Ironbark Country’ book

When: 7.30 pm on Friday 10 May 2019

Where: Uniting Church Hall, behind the Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC (next to Castlemaine Art Museum)

Once faced with extinction in the early 1900s, the Turquoise Parrot has made a remarkable comeback and now exists throughout many parts of Victoria, NSW and southern Queensland. Although still listed as threatened, there are some areas where it has established secure localised populations. One such area is the hills of north-east Victoria, where a campaign to address key threats and improve the species’ habitat has been operating for about six years.

Community involvement has been instrumental to the programs success, with private landholders actively participating in a raft of activities that will hopefully allow this spectacular little bird to enjoy a bright future. This is an inspiring conservation success story that provides hope for other conservation initiatives.

The talk is open to both members and visitors – bring along friends and family. Tea and snacks available afterwards. There is no cost for attendance.

For more information please contact Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club – click here

Conserving the Turquoise Parrot (photo by Chris Tzaros)


Mother nature – plant a tree for Mum this Mother’s Day

Posted on 7 May, 2019 by Asha

Along Forest Creek, Castlemaine, a transformation is taking place. Two years ago, the state government removed a large area of poplar trees, just down from Patterson Bridge on Duke Street, to make way for native species and encourage wildlife back to the area. Last year, Castlemaine Landcare Group, with help from many fantastic volunteers, planted 1,500 plants – trees, shrubs, grasses and sedges. Despite dry weather, their growth has been dramatic.

This Mother’s Day, they want to plant more! A mammoth planting event is planned for Sunday 12 May at 9.30 am at the former poplars site, where Duke Street crosses Forest Creek. Anyone and everyone is invited to come down to plant, celebrate Mother’s Day, and share a cup of tea or coffee.

Castlemaine Landcare would love to see this area restored for the community to use and to increase local biodiversity. Come and see the difference a year makes and how you can help – bring your Mum, kids, family and friends!

Please wear stout footwear and gardening gloves. The ground is rough and there are some hazards like old blackberry brambles, tree stumps and roots. Morning tea will be provided.

Where: Forest Creek at Patterson Bridge on Duke Street (near Happy Valley Road intersection) Castlemaine VIC

When: 9:30 am to 12 noon on Sunday 12 May 2019

Parking: Limited parking is available on Happy Valley Road, or park on Duke Street (near Best Motors) and walk 200 m to the planting area

More information: Please email Christine at

Frankie Cook is looking forward to planting a tree for mum along Forest Creek (photo from Castlemaine Landcare)



FREE First Aid training – 18 June 2019

Posted on 2 May, 2019 by Frances


Be prepared and help look after yourself and those around you
Learn how to give First Aid or update your knowledge
Gain an essential life skill that everyone should have!

What would you do if you’re with:

  • A friend who was bitten by a venomous snake or spider?
  • A child who is unconscious and bleeding?
  • A family member who might be having heart attack or stroke?

Connecting Country has funding through the Victorian government to provide free First Aid training to community members. Anyone who is volunteering in the environment space, doing conservation work on their land, or thinking of joining a Landcare or Friends group is especially encouraged to register. Training will be delivered by Castlemaine District Community Health with all costs covered by Connecting Country. All are welcome to register, but places are limited, so get in quick!

Level II First Aid Training (#HLTAID003 Provide First Aid)

When:           Tuesday 18 June 2019 from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Where:          Castlemaine – venue be confirmed
To register:   Email with your name, email address and phone number
More info:     Please call 5472 1594 or email

A shorter CPR refresher course (#HLTAID001 Provide Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) is available for those with current first aid qualifications, as part of the same training session. Contact us for details.

For a training information poster, please click here


2019 Biolinks Alliance Symposium: Bolstering the refuges

Posted on 1 May, 2019 by Ivan

This year’s Victorian Biolinks Alliance symposium is on ‘Bolstering the refuges: Restoring health and resilience to remnant ecosystems at a time of climate change‘.

It will held on Friday 24 May 2019 in Euroa VIC.

Speakers include:

  • Jacqui Stol of CSIRO – Box Gum Woodland restoration and woodland birds.
  • Associate Professor Euan Richie – Ecosystem restoration and reintroduction of function for, and by, digging mammals.
  • Professor Don Driscoll – Insects in fragmented agricultural landscapes.

This stimulating event is a great networking opportunity. Field-based workshops on ecosystem-process restoration will also explore some practical dimensions of restoring grassland and woodland ecosystems, visiting innovative local projects.

For more information and to book, please visit the Biolinks Alliance website: click here

Connecting Country is a member of the Biolinks Alliance.

Eastern barred bandicoot

Eastern barred bandicoot (photo from Biolinks Alliance)


May 2019 bird walks with BirdLife Castlemaine

Posted on 1 May, 2019 by Ivan

Come and join Birdlife Castlemaine District on two great walks coming up in May! For details, please see the following information from Birdlife Castlemaine.

Saturday 4 May 2019 – Red, White and Blue Mine Site, Muckleford Forest

As usual, we will do a couple of 20 minute 2 hectare surveys. If we’re really lucky, we may even spot some Swift Parrots at this site! Asha Bannon will lead us on a gentle walk along Bells Track, which is a level and easy-to-follow path. We won’t be going far (2 km maximum). Information about the site’s history, ecological values, and location can be found here.

Please note that there is a dam near the car park and, while the mine is covered, there are some decent-sized gaps in the mesh, so keep a close eye on any children you bring along.

Location and directions: From Castlemaine, take the Castlemaine-Maldon Road. Turn south onto Muckleford-Walmer Road, then right onto the Muckleford School Road, continuing into Muckleford Forest. We will meet at the car park next to the mine, at the intersection of Bells Lane Track and Red, White and Blue Track.

Time: Meet at Red, White and Blue Mine at 8.30 am, or to carpool from Castlemaine meet at 8.15 am outside Castlemaine Community House (former Continuing Ed), 30 Templeton Street, Castlemaine VIC.

Following the walk, you are welcome to join us at the BirdLife Castlemaine District Annual General Meeting.

Sunday 26 May 2019 – Rise and Shine Reserve, Sandon

Join BirdLife Branches Ballarat and Castlemaine District for a bird walk at Rise and Shine Reserve, located between Newstead and Daylesford. The Reserve is a hot spot for renowned photographer, ecologist and blog publisher Geoff Park. We will walk a loop on rough dirt vehicle tracks, with the possibility of walking off track through the bush. Afterwards if you’re keen for more bird watching, you can do the Rise and Shine Reserve Nature Walk accessed via Ramseys Lane.

Location and directions: Turn off the Daylesford-Newstead Road onto Zumpes Road, which is narrow a dirt road with blind crests. Continue straight ahead at the first road junction (turning left will take you to private property). Currently there are beehives on your right. Strictly speaking you will no longer be on Zumpes Road. Shortly after this is another road junction with a ‘No Through Road’ sign on it – find a place to park here.

Time: Meet at Rise and Shine Reserve at 9.00 am, or to carpool from Castlemaine meet at 8.30 am outside Castlemaine Community House (former Continuing Ed), 30 Templeton Street, Castlemaine VIC.

Important information about walks: Bring water, snacks, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, long pants during snake season, and other weather-appropriate gear.

Walks will be cancelled if the temperature is forecast to be 35 degrees or more during the walk period, severe weather warnings are forecast, and/or if the day has been declared a Total Fire Ban.

Questions? If you have questions about our walks program, you can email BirdLife Castlemaine at, or call Judy Hopley (0425 768 559) or Asha Bannon (0418 428 721).


Previous bird walk at Pastoria East (photo by Shane Carey)




BirdWatch workshop – 19 May 2019

Posted on 1 May, 2019 by Jess

Bird monitoring at Connecting Country

Scientific monitoring has always been a high priority at Connecting Country. As of 2019, our staff and volunteers have collected over 24,000 individual bird records, and our data has been analysed by experts at BirdLife Australia and La Trobe University.

Thanks to funding from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for our Habitat Health Check project, we’re transitioning from in-house monitoring to a community-driven monitoring model. This program will draw upon the power of the community to contribute as volunteer citizen scientists. Our citizen scientists are key players in the entire scientific process – including the development of research and monitoring questions – as well as collecting data.

We’re lucky to have lots of beautiful birds in the Mount Alexander region (photo by Jane Rusden)

Here is your opportunity to get involved!

Connecting Country and Birdlife Castlemaine District are running a workshop from 1.00 pm on Sunday 19 May 2019 in Chewton VIC.  We’ll be asking community members what we most need to learn about birds in the Mount Alexander Shire. There will be lots of opportunity for your input and discussion.

If you’re interested in local birds, we’d love to have your input on the day. In the meantime, please have a think about what questions you have about our bird populations.

Register here:

Please feel free to contact if you need any further information.

White-throated treecreeper (photo by Jane Rusden)


Also – save the date!

We will be recruiting team leaders and volunteers to inform and guide our various citizen science programs (including birders, nest box enthusiasts, plant nuts, reptile watchers and froggers).  To start with, Birdlife Castlemaine district and Connecting Country will be running a workshop on bird monitoring in the afternoon on Sunday 23 June 2019. Details to follow!


BirdLife Castlemaine AGM – 4 May 2019

Posted on 18 April, 2019 by Ivan

BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch is holding their 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting will follow the bird walk scheduled for Saturday 4 May at Muckleford Forest. Morning tea will be available from 11.00 am.

Owlet Nightjar at Moonlight Flat (photo by Frances Howe)

Birdlife Castlemaine District 2019 AGM
When: Saturday 4 May 2019 at 11.30 am
Where: 2356 Pyrenees Highway, Muckleford South VIC

Birdlife Castlemaine are keen for nominations for the committee. A nomination form for committee positions is can be obtained by emailing The positions vacant are Convenor, Secretary, Treasurer and general committee members. A proxy voting form is also available via email or print.

Nomination forms and proxy voting forms should be emailed to, or posted to:
Secretary, BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch, 9 Tingay Drive, Campbells Creek, VIC 3451

Nominations will also be accepted on the day of the AGM.


Victorian Weeds Conference – 7-8 May 2019

Posted on 18 April, 2019 by Jacqui

Registrations are open for the Victorian Weeds Conference in Echuca on 7-8 May 2019.


Learn about community approaches to tackling Gorse, a Weed of National Significance (Photo: Victorian Gorse Taskforce)

We are excited to see local group the Tarrangower Cactus Warriors presenting on the role of biological control in the war against Wheel Cactus, as part of the community action session. The broader conference program will cover a diverse and interesting range of topics including environmental and agricultural weed control, biological control, community action, species in the spotlight, innovative solutions, and demonstrations.

The program includes an optional lunch cruise through the Gannawarra Wetlands at Koondrook on 8 May 2019.

Victorian Weeds Conference 2019

Where: Mercure Port of Echuca, 465 High St, Echuca VIC
When: 7-8 May 2019
Cost: $100-$210, see pricing details here

For registrations and further information: visit Weed Society of Victoria website ( or email Bec James (

Registrations close on 1 May 2019.


Beginners farm fencing course – 28 April 2019

Posted on 16 April, 2019 by Frances

Back by popular demand!

Due to the success of the March course, Hillside Acres is running another Beginners Farm Fencing course on Sunday 28 April 2019 in Harcourt VIC.

Jarrod from Hillside Acres says:

‘We will build a new farm fence so you can try all the skills that go into fencing. You will come away with the skills and knowledge to design and construct a new fence, and repair old fences.’

This hands-on course will be run in Harcourt from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm with a substantial and yummy morning tea supplied.

Cost is $150 per person.

This will be a fun and friendly opportunity to learn farm fencing.

To see the course flier – click here

For more information and bookings contact Jarrod by email ( or phone (0438 069 849).

The fencing course will take place on the Hillside Acres farm


Desperate plight of the Orange-bellied Parrot – 8 May 2019

Posted on 16 April, 2019 by Frances

Bendigo Field Naturalists Club and Snowgum Press Films are presenting a special screening of the documentary ‘The Desperate Plight of the Orange-bellied Parrot’, a film by David Neilson on Wednesday 8 May 2019 in Bendigo, Victoria

The Orange-bellied Parrot migrates between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, spending summer breeding in Tasmania and winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. It is one of Australia’s most threatened species, with less than 50 parrots thought to exist in the wild. Like many of our local birds, threats include habitat loss and modification, predation by cats and foxes and weeds, as well as collisions with structures, and inbreeding.

This is a fundraising event for the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. All funds raised go to support conservation efforts. Tickets are $15 (children free). Numbers are limited so register now to secure a seat. A special ‘meet the film-maker’ session and nature photography discussion is available prior to the screening ($20).

For further information please see the flyer – click here.

To book your seat contact Bendigo Field Naturalists Club via their website ( or email (

To find out what is being done to preserve the habitat and remaining populations of the Orange-bellied Parrot, please visit the Birdlife Australia website by clicking here


Male Orange-bellied Parrot . Photo: Birdlife Australia

Two male Orange-bellied Parrots. Photo: Birdlife Australia