Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Castlemaine Field Nats excursion

Posted on 8 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Following on from the previous nights talk on bush foods, join the presenter Beth Gott for a field trip.

All welcome.  Free of charge.

Meet at the carpark opposite Castle Motel, Duke St, Castlemaine for 11am sharp departure.

BYO lunch.


Newstead Landcare Goup presentation – Pond Life

Posted on 8 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Pond Life

Presentation at Newstead Community Centre by Leah Cripps, Waterwatch Officer for the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA).

All welcome.

Supper 9pm, followed by a brief business meeting (optional).


Wildlife victoria public information session

Posted on 7 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

At the Ray Bradfield Room (IGA carpark), Castlemaine.

  • Find out about the work of wildlife rescuers and foster carers, and learn what to do if you find an injured animal.
  • Information sharing and networking for existing volunteers and potential volunteers.
  • Discover how to happily co-exist with wildlife in your home garden and surrounds.

Local wildlife authority Miles Geldard will give a presentation about constructing wildlife nests and the steps required to ensure nesting success.  Details on an upcoming nest box construction workshop.

Lunch will be provided.


Calculate your farms Co2 emissions

Posted on 2 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

FarmGAS Calculator has been launched by The Australian Farm Institute.

The Calculator is an online application which enables farmers to model both the financial and greenhouse gas outputs of farm activities and the implications of changes in enterprises.  The FarmGAS Calculator is available here on The Australian Farm Institute Website and is free of charge.

The FarmGAS Calculator includes individual calculators for the major livestock and cropping enterprises, and any combination of these enterprises can be added to create an individual farm business. Farmers can come back to the calculator at any time to update or change their production data, or complete the process in stages. All you need to do is login online, and remember to save!

Farmers enter details of their enterprises (both financial and production) to calculate enterprise gross margins.  The following enterprise types can be analysed using FarmGAS: beef production (both breeding of progeny and fattening), sheep production, broadacre cropping, irrigated cropping, intensive livestock systems (beef feedlot and piggery), perennial horticulture crops and environmental tree plantings.

FarmGAS is the result of an Australian Farm Institute research project on greenhouse gas mitigation options for Australian farmers. Funding for the project was provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the National Agriculture and Climate Change Action Plan: Implementation Program.


Dr Maartin Stapper talk in Ngambie

Posted on 2 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Due to an overwhelming response an extra day has been added to Dr Maartin Stapper’s series of talks on biological farming.  As featured on the ABC TV’s Australian Story “Back to Earth” June 1st 2009.

Dr Stapper began a career in science and agriculture forty years ago, has international experiences on four continents and is a former senior scientist with CSIRO.  He is an expert across a wide spectrum of agricultural areas including wheat agronomy, farming systems, participatory research and agricultural information technology. Dr Stapper says biological farming is not just about soil health through improved biology and carbon – it is also about profitable farming by lowering inputs and associated costs, making plants, animals and land more resilient in variable climate, and utilising natural resources for increased productivity – and is thus ecosystem based. His focus is on biological farming that helps farmers improve the profitability of their operations by harnessing the power of natural soil processes with practices creating healthy soils while reducing heavy reliance on fertilisers and chemicals.

$50.00 Non FBF Inc Member
$40.00 FBF Inc Member

Presented by the Federation of Biological Farmers Inc.

9.30am morning tea for 10am start.

Contact Carl Reeve on 0412 144 936


Trust for nature property open day

Posted on 2 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

The Budgerum Grassland is a property purchased by Trust For Nature’s Revolving Fund Scheme.

An open day is being held this Saturday to give the public the opportunity to see this grassland bursting to life with the best wildflower show in many years.

• Experience spring in the Avoca Plains grasslands .
• See some of Australia’s rarest plants and animal’s.
• Learn about Trust for Nature and what they do.
• Guest speakers.
• Share stories about the plains over lunch.
• Treasure hunt and prize.

BBQ lunch at 12.30

Map to Budgerum here. Meet on the corner of Lake Charm-Quambatook and Hanley Roads.  Approx 9km North of Quambatook.

RSVP 4th September 2009 (for catering) Phone: 0458 965 329


Castlemaine Landcare Group – talking provenance

Posted on 2 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

At the September General Meeting, Castlemaine Landcare Group will tackle to issue of seed provenance in a discussion led by Ern Perkins and Francis Cincotta.

Visitors are welcome at all general meetings of Castlemaine Landcare Group.

Meetings are held upstairs at Herons Gallery, on the corner of Hargreaves and Lyttleton Streets in Castlemaine.

Supper is provided.

For more information call Christine Kilmartin on 5472 1276 or 0418 325 350


Muckleford Catchment Landcare group

Posted on 2 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Two spring planting days.

Work is ready to proceed on the Creasy’s Road biodiversity corridor.  This is a major project accross a section of the Creasy’s Road verge and several adjoining properties.  The site has been prepared and there is no digging required.  Helping hands are needed to plant seedlings and place tree guards.

Lunch is provided on both days.

Please wear study footwear and bring gloves.

For more information contact Paul Hampton on 5472 2189

To register your attendance for part or all of the day please email


Castlemaine Field Naturalists September meeting

Posted on 1 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Join the Castlemaine Field Nats on Friday September 11th for a talk on Bush Foods presented by Beth Gott.

8pm at the Uniting Church Hall – Enter from Lyttleton St.

Meetings are open to non-members and a gold coin donation is appreciated to help cover costs.

If you would like to join the Castlemaine Field Nats email the Secretary, George Broadway;


Friends of Box Ironbark Forests September Bushwalk

Posted on 1 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

This months FoBIF bushwalk will be through Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve.

Join in this month to see Spring wildflowers.  You will also see creekline vegetation and interesting rock formations in the bush behind Taradale.

The walk is approximately 8km circuit.

Meet at 9.30am outside Continuing Ed. building – 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine.  Carpool to the start of the walk.

Bring water, morning tea and lunch.  Non-members are welcome and there is no cost.

For more information ring Barabara Johnston on 5423 2773


Time to save our trees by gum

Posted on 1 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Grazing land across Victoria and New South Wales could be treeless within the decade, posing a serious threat to both agriculture and natural ecosystems, the Australian National University has warned.

A research project based at Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment and Society has found that the majority of scattered paddock trees in grazing areas are old and close to death, yet there are virtually no young trees growing to replace them.

The researchers argue that the disappearance of paddock trees would have many negative effects for agriculture and natural ecosystems, removing shelter for livestock, habitat for birds and other wildlife, decreasing water infiltration, and risking detrimental flow-on effects for  entire ecosystems.

Read more: Victoria’s gum trees dying – Herald Sun


Employment opportunity

Posted on 25 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Applications are now open for DSE BushTender Field Officer.

The positions are based in Bendigo.

The position description can be found on

Closing date for applications is 30th August and applicants must apply on-line.

Any questions about the positions please call,

Michelle Ballentine
BushTender Project Officer
Native Vegetation Programs
Department of Sustainability and Environment

Ph: (03) 9637 9027

Mob: 0458 382 289


Brush-tailed Phasocale stuffing

Posted on 24 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

I sent 2 dead Brush-tailed Phascogale specimens off to the Museum of Victoria to be stuffed and mounted for the Connecting Country project to use for education purposes.  However, neither specimens could be used.  The taxidermist told me that with small mammals like phascogales the road kill has to be very fresh.  If you find a dead Phascogale, it needs to be frozen within 1 hour of its kill (or natural death).  So if anyone manages to get a fresh Phascogale into the freezer I would definitely like to come and collect it and have the taxidermist have another go.  Feel free to contact me on

Thanks, Beth Mellick, The Norman Wettenhall Foundation, 5472 1316


Friends of Campbells Creek August Working Bee

Posted on 20 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Postponed till 13 September 2009.

After a full slather of working bees and extra planting days over the past few weeks, we’ll take a well-earned break and gather our strength for September’s working bee.  Location Tbc.

If anyone wants to be involved in small informal working parties over the next month or helping out the
local schools in their Landcare project, please contact David King on 0408 993 688


Nth Harcourt/Sedgwick Landcare Group Annual Planting Day and BBQ

Posted on 20 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

In order to continue our Barkers Creek Project join us for our planting day – our aim is to revegetate Barkers Creek from the spring to the reservoir as far as we can get.

Over the last 2 years we have planted over a distance of approx.  3 km from Ford Rd (Dingle property) around the bend to North Harcourt Rd down to the Pinder property. This working bee will continue our good work from previous planting days.

Meet at 329 North Harcourt Rd (opposite Barkers Road, Harcourt North)

Bring sturdy boots, weather proof gear and a planting tool.

Please join us for a BBQ on site after planting.

Please RSVP for catering purposes.

Contact Karoline Klein on 5439 6080


Baynton Sidonia Landcare Group AGM

Posted on 20 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

The committee of the Baynton Sidonia Landcare Group invites the members together with residents of the district to the Native Display Garden on the roadside at the entrance to ‘Rowanston on the Track’ Winery.

A walk, talk and place species signs in the Display Garden. This will be an opportunity to see which plants do best in the area, and to learn more about their characteristics and requirements. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

A BBQ lunch will follow.

Please RSVP by Thursday 20th August for catering purposes.

Contact Carl Reeve on 5423 7110 or 0412 144 936


Castlemaine landcare group august working bee

Posted on 20 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Castlemaine Landcare Group August working bee at the new waterhole close to the start of the Happy Valley walking track. There are 500 plants to get in so if anyone can come earlier (from 9am) to help lay things out, that would be great.

Bring:  Planting tools, mash hammers, buckets.

Robin Haylett, 0408 706630 & 5470 6630

10am, Sunday August 23rd.


Report on Connecting Country’s Future Planning Workshop

Posted on 18 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Report on Connecting Country’s Future Planning Workshop, August 5th, 2009

More than 60 people from the local environmental community attended the workshop, including members of “Friends of” and other environmental advocacy groups, education and natural resource management professionals, and many members of the landcare community.  Participants all brought enthusiasm and local knowledge to share with everyone.  The workshop aimed to collect a set of information based on local knowledge of the special places in our region.  The information provided is currently being collated in a database.  Once this is finished, Connecting Country will sort through the data and more detailed planning for on ground projects can begin.

Geoff Park gave a presentation outlining the recently announced Federal and State Government funding, particularly describing the conditions attached to the funding (Tuans and Yellow-box woodlands).

  • A summary of the funding is available here as a pdf.
  • The map of priority vegetation can be found on the funding summary pdf.

Participants were guided through a process of identifying environmental assets on the maps provided and then compiling a list of information about that asset.  The information was recorded on a template that is based on the cutting edge of environmental Project Planning.  We received 96 completed templates.

  • The blank template is available here here a Word document.
  • The example template is available here as a pdf.

David King from Friends of Campbells Creek gave a presentation on how the natural assets along the Campbells Creek catchment were identified and put into a management plan so that everyone knew what needed to be done and how it could happen.

Many thanks go to;
Geoff Park and Krista Patterson-Majoor for facilitating; Margarita Adler for catering; Welshmans Reef Vineyard and Langanook Winery, Ben Laycock, Eliza Tree and Mahmoud for the map of the region, and to all the helping hands.


Fancy yourself as a wildlife photographer?

Posted on 13 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Trust for Nature is looking for original images of Victoria’s bushland and wildlife to feature in its 2010 desk calendar. Entry is open to professional and amateur photographers alike.
Competition closes October 31st, 2009.

For full details and a competition entry form visit the Trust for Nature website.


Victorian Landcare Awards 2009

Posted on 13 August, 2009 by Connecting Country

Voting is now open for the Victorian Landcare Awards 2009.

Visit the website to vote for our local heroes!

The website has a full list of nominated people.  Some familiar names might include Caroline Lovel from Baringhup Landcare Group, Geoff Park from Newstead Landcare Group, Ian Grenda from the Tarrangower Cactus Control Committee, Penny Roberts from Newham and District Landcare Group, and Judy Crocker from Mid Loddon Sub-Catchment Management Group

The winner will be announced on September 8th.