Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Castlemaine Landcare Group October working bee

Posted on 13 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

The working bee will involve a return to Happy Valley to check out the maintenance required at the new waterhole.  For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s at the top end of the Walking Track on Happy Valley Road.

Please bring weeding tools, brushcutters and buckets.

Start time is 10am and morning tea will again be provided courtesy of the Wesley Hill Bakehouse and Matthew Brownrigg.  Please RSVP for catering to Robyn Haylett on 0408 7066 630 or 5470 6630


Gould League Centenary

Posted on 7 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

The Gould League is celebrating its Centenary with a free family open day.  The date is Sunday October 25th, from 10am until 2pm.  It is at the Gould League Sustainability and Environmental Education Centre in Genoa Street, Moorabbin.  There will be activities, displays, and formal celebrations including cake cutting at noon.

Most of you probably heard about the Gould League going bankrupt, but they were rescued and are now continuing as strongly as before.  I’m sure everyone has fond memories of the Gould League and their school education programs.  Glad to see they are continuing.


Community Grants workshop at Campbells Creek

Posted on 17 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

The North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) is holding an information session to encourage environmental groups in the region to apply for 2009-10 Second Generation Community Landcare Grants.

The grants are open until 23rd October 2009 and are available to incorporated community groups that want to improve the condition of their local environment.

To attend the community meeting, RSVP to the North Central CMA on (03) 5448 7124 by 5pm, Tuesday 22nd September


A walk to search for the Satinwood shrub

Posted on 16 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Meet on the Leonard’s Hill/Barkstead Road.

From Daylesford travel along the Ballan Road to Leonard’s Hill and a road to the west goes to Barkstead. (Take left road at T-intersection) and travel 5k to White Point Track.

The picnic will be held past White Point Track on the Leonard Hill/Barkstead Road and an exact location has not been chosen but we will be on the road so you will not miss us.

Please wear study shoes.

Please bring your lunch.  BBQ facilities available and tea and coffee provided.

Should it be raining heavily or be dangerously windy we will have to cancel.

For more information contact Gayle Osborne. Phone 5348 7558 or email


Box Ironbark Ecology Course

Posted on 15 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Ngambie, Central Victoria

The course brings together leading researchers and experts to share up to date knowledge and thinking about this landscape in change.

It is field based and participants will work in small groups.  It emphasises ecological understanding and relationships and techniques that improve observation and data collection skills which can then be applied to other areas.
Participants will gain:

  • a better understanding of the distribution, natural values and ecological processes of Box Ironbark landscapes, past and present;
  • an understanding of the impact of human use on the ecosystem, past and present;
  • practical skills in observation, description, survey, analysis, interpretation, map reading and ecosystem monitoring of flora, fauna, geomorphology and soils;
  • opportunity to apply new skills and to collate and communicate information collected from the field;
  • resources to help plan for enhanced ecologically sustainable management outcomes for Box Ironbark remnants on private and public land.

Cost of the course is $1200.

Applications close 18th September 2009.

Contact Kate Stothers for a brochure and application form.  Phone 03 5761 1611


New Roles for Landcare forum

Posted on 15 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

To be held at Fitzroy Town Hall

201 Napier St, Fitzroy, Melbourne

New Roles for Landcare Forum

Landcare started as local action on local problems. But as we face a time of accelerating change in our landscapes, it is time to look beyond the latest NRM funding criteria to the new roles Landcare Networks are taking on. This Forum brings together Networks and other organisations working with Landcare to share what they’re doing and what opportunities they see for Landcare.

Featuring an introduction from Andrew Campbell (Triple Helix Consulting) and covering the topics of markets & ecosystem services, agriculture & adapting to climate change, policy and alliances with corporates, philanthropists & industry.

Click here for the full program.

To register for this event: Contact Clare Millen, Landcare and Community Engagement Unit, DSE, (03) 9637 9824,


Castlemaine Landcare Group working bee

Posted on 15 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

September working bee.

The work will be in two areas.

1. Woody weed removal at the bottom of Urquhart St (Opposite Castlemaine Primary).  Please bring heavy duty pruning equipment.

Morning tea

2. Planting at Happy Valley Walking Track.  Please bring planting tools and buckets.

For more information contact Robin Haylett. Call 5470 6630.  Email


Koorooya Wildflower Show

Posted on 15 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Celebrate the arrival of Spring this weekend.

Saturday and Sunday at Rheola Hall.

Click here for flyer including map.

  • Guided and self-guided wildflower tours
  • Static displays of local indigenous flora
  • Botanical drawings and photo’s
  • Photographic competition
  • Books, maps and reference materials for sale
  • Native plants for sale

For more information contact Robert Scholes. Phone: 0427 190 339    Email:


Castlemaine Field Nats Wildflower walk

Posted on 8 September, 2009 by Connecting Country

Spring has sprung and it’s time for The Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club’s wildflower walks.  The first one will be a walk through Fryers Ridge.

Meet at the carpark opposite Castle Motel, Duke St, Castlemaine for a 4pm departure.  Returning 5-5.30pm.


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