Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Conference ‘North Central Victoria: A golden era, a changed ecosystem forever’

Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

The discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 had a profound effect on the environmental, economic and social histories in the state. And while the changes to Bendigo are well documented, the gold rush and subsequent land use also had significant effects on the natural environment.

The Royal Society of Victoria is holding this regional symposium to recognise the environmental history and scientific significance of the North Central region. The conference will concentrate on the management and sustainability of the region and also examine priorities and options for future management.

To register and for more information on this symposium visit The Royal Society of Victoria website.


Victoria facing a wave of extinctions

Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

Victoria could be facing a wave of extinctions following a dramatic crash in bird numbers in the state’s Box-Ironbark forests.

The dire warning comes from new research by leading ecologists Professor Ralph Mac Nally (Director of the Australian Centre for Biodiversity at Monash University), Professor Andrew Bennett and Dr Jim Radford (both from Deakin University).

A systematic study across northern and central Victoria over the past 15 years has shown that about two-thirds of bird species, including lorikeets, pardalotes, thornbills and honeyeaters, have declined dramatically.

Most worrying is that species thought to be secure, such as the Red Wattlebird, Striated Pardalote, Grey Shrikethrush and Laughing Kookaburra, have declined as much as or more than species already of conservation concern.

Read more:

Birds in serious decline after extended drought – The Age

Native bird populations declining rapidly – The 7.30 Report


Newstead Landcare Group

Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

Newstead Landcare Group’s next business meeting will be Thursday 12th November at Newstead Community Centre at 8pm.

On Sunday 8th Newstead Landcare Group will launch the Self-guided interpretive walk in the Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve.

Leaflets available in a box at the Ramsey’s Lane entrance to the reserve will guide you on a journey to discover how an ancient riverbed has created a surprisingly rich array of flora and fauna.  You can also learn how this river shaped the use of the area by humans, both indigenous and European, for millenia.

    The walk is a 3.2 km loop and takes an hour and a half to complete.

    There will be a very brief AGM before the launch of the walk, followed by morning tea.  All welcome.

    Car pool from Newstead Community Centre at 9.10am.

    Wear some shoes suitable for a bush walk and bring a mug for morning tea.


    McKenzie’s Hill Community BBQ

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Are you a resident of McKenzie’s Hill or environs?

    Do you know your local community?

    Come along and meet your neighbours at a barbeque on November 6th

    Kicking off at 6.30 pm at the old Winter’s Flat school site, Cnr Monahan and Langslow Sts (Enter from Monahan St)

    Sponsored by McKenzie’s Hill Action and Landcare Group.

    Bookings required for catering purposes.

    Contact Jan Hall 54 705556 or Marie Murley 54 72 3988

    Our community has no central hub, no sports fields, no local heart.

    Think about the potential of this old school site.


    Flora Identification Course

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    The free flora identification course brought to you by McKenzies Hill Action & Landcare Group resumes this Sunday with a study of grasses.

    Run by Paul Foreman, consultant Botanist and Bush Heritage Australia Ecologist, the course aims to give participants an introduction to the ecosystems and indigenous flora of the Castlemaine area.

    Sunday November 8th – Common grasses.  At Castlemaine Botanic Gardens (Northern Cark Park off Downes Rd). 2 -4pm

    Sunday November 15th – Tour of the shire.  Bus provided.  Meeting and returning to the car park opposite the Railway Hotel, Gingell St, Castlemaine. 10am – 4pm

    Click here for full details.

    For more information and to book contact Paul Foreman on 5472 4874 or 0429 134 592


    Castlemaine Field Naturalists November meeting

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Join the Castlemaine Field Nats Club for a presentation by Dr Mary Cole on the importance of soil fungi known as mycorrhizae for environmental health.

    All General Meetings are held at the Uniting Church Hall, enter from Lyttleton St, Castlemaine.

    For more information contact President Natalie de Maccus on 5472 4499


    Free field days and launch of the Central Victorian Compost Users Group

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Guest Speaker: Dr Dean Metcalf, expert on biological control using composts and compost teas.

    Dean is a plant pathologist with wide experience in managing a variety of crop diseases and a particular interest in sustainable methods of crop disease control.

    There are four events over three days:

    WEDNESDAY 11TH NOVEMBER,   1-5PM HARCOURT – Meet at Harcourt Valley Estate Wines, followed by visit to Blackjack Wines and Harcourt Fruit Garden.


    o    9-11 AM MURCHISON – Meet at Murchison & District Neighbourhood House followed by a site visit to Avonlea Flowers, 420 River Road, Murchison, looking at compost soil conditioners and teas for disease suppression and soil health.

    o    2- 5 PM  HEATHCOTE/ COLBINABBIN – Meet at Heathcote RSL followed by a site visit to Hennings Wine/ Rathjen’s, Colbinabbin looking at composts in vineyards and tomatoes.

    FRIDAY 13TH NOVEMBER – 9-12 AM BENDIGO – Meet at Balgownie Estate Wines, Hermitage Road Maiden Gully

    Hear about how compost can:

    • Boost soil and plant health and plant productivity
    • Conserve moisture
    • Form part of a disease control program
    • Build long term soil carbon

    Also hear about:

    • Compost Users Group – a free and independent information and discussion forum for landowners to learn more about sourcing, making and using compost, and to share their experiences in using these products.
    • Planning to use composts – what, where and how?

    Numbers are limited and bookings are essential.

    For more information and to register contact Bill Grant 0407 882 070  or


    Understanding Soil Biology Workshop

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Brought to you by the Lismore Land Protection Group, a workshop on understanding soil biology to be held in the Killara Centre, Camperdown.

    Presenter: Damian Bougoure, Department of Primary Industries.


    – Understand what soil biology is & recognise its contribution to soil health & why it is so important for environmental sustainability

    – Understand what regulates soil biology & how soil biology can change

    – Identify & select appropriate techniques to measure & monitor soil biology & understand how management affects it

    – Understand how changes to management may improve soil biology.

    Free Lunch provided. 

    To register please contact to Karen on 5596 2384


    Castlemaine Landcare Group November Working Bee and breakup BBQ

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    This will be Castlemaine Landcare Group’s final working bee for the year.  Working bees are generally held somewhere along the stretch of Forest Creek that runs between Best Motors and Colles Road in Castlemaine.

    For details of the location please contact Robyn Haylett on home: 5470 6630 or mobile: 0408 706 630

    All members are invited to attend the breakup BBQ that will follow the working bee.


    Friends of Campbells Creek November General Meeting

    Posted on 4 November, 2009 by Connecting Country

    November General Meeting of Friends of Campbells Creek.

    Visitors are welcome.

    Campbells Creek Primary School, Main Road, Campbells Creek.

    MULTI PURPOSE ROOM at the back of the school.


    Maryborough Field Naturalists’ Club Forum

    Posted on 30 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Maryborough Field Naturalists’ Club invite all interested people to a community forum next Monday night, 2nd November, at which two specialists will speak.

    Firstly, Ms Eloise Seymour, a researcher from Charles Sturt University will present her results of a recent survey regarding the Moolort Wetlands. Following Ms Seymour, Dr Lindy Lumsden, Principal Research Scientist from the Arthur Rylah Institute, who specializes in the study of bats, will inform us about the various bat species found within our local Box ironbark forests.

    The Forum will be held in the Field Naturalists’ Club rooms, Dundas Road, Maryborough (adjacent to the 80 km sign). Supper will follow.

    For more information please contact Lorraine O’Dal on 0417 142 489 or Brian Johns on 5461 2755


    The Norman Wettenhall Foundation Annual Lecture

    Posted on 26 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    The Norman Wettenhall Foundation
    Annual Memorial Lecture 2009
    Thursday 19th November, 5pm, Museum, Age Theatre

    Tickets are $25 and bookings are essential.

    Click here for an invitation

    Taking the Long View – vision and transformation in an age of change

    Speakers: Leon Costermans, Professor John Wiseman, Robyn Edwards

    From space, our planet is a symphony of blue and green amidst swirling clouds. We often forget that the earth’s land and oceans have not always been so benign. Life on earth has faced huge challenges in the past, from volcanism and ice ages to the sudden death following a meteor impact. Leon Costermans, well known environmental author and botanist, is about to publish a new book on geology and landscapes.   Continue Reading »


    Volunteer Action Training

    Posted on 16 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Where: DPI/DSE, 89 Sydney Road, Room 2, Benalla

    The Department of Sustainability and Environments’ Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative (VRI) is sponsoring training across the state in October and November. The training is intended to provide Landcare members and support staff with some new tips and a better understanding of attracting and retaining volunteers in the current environment.
    Continue Reading »


    Friends of Box Ironbark Forests October bushwalk

    Posted on 16 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    This walk will start in Chewton and follow Forest Creek through Expedition Pass Reservoir using the Forest Creek Track and boardwalks allowing all year access.

    Meet at 9.30am outside Continuing Ed, 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine and carpool to the start of the walk.  Walks normally finish mid afternoon.

    Bring water, morning tea and lunch.  The walk is a 9km circuit.

    There is no cost and non-members are welcome.

    Fore more information call Marie Jones 5472 2892


    ‘Revive the Loddon’ – River Expo in Baringhup

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Visit the Loddon River in Baringhup this Friday for a family day full of activities for the kids.

    Click here for full details.  Some of the workshops will include;

    • Water Watch Van      • Basket Weaving     • Frog Workshop     • Historical Re-enactment    • Musical Performance’s      • Indigenous Workshop                       • Bird Watching        • Native Plant Workshop    • What Makes A River?                • Announcement of Winners of Photographic Competition


    Newstead’s Geoff Park wins Eureka Prize

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Newstead’s Geoff Park has won Australian science’s most prestigious award, a Eureka Prize.

    Announced in Sydney on 18 August at a star studded dinner, the prize is for Research by an Interdisciplinary Team.

    Geoff was part of a team to develop the prize winning INFFER (Investment Framework for Environmental Resources) project which helps work out how best to invest money for the greatest environmental outcomes in rural areas.  Geoff and Mary Park were at the dinner when the award was announced.

    Geoff’s love of birdlife and the natural environment is well known around Newstead.  He recently started an online blog called Natural Newstead which includes his and others’ observations of bird and plant life in the local area.  Check it out at

    Geoff has also been encouraging landscape restoration through his involvement with the regional project Connecting Country


    Notes from ‘New Roles for Landcare’ forum

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    For the latest news regarding conferences and forums, publications and funding opportunities, visit he Victorian Landcare Gateway website. Presentation notes provided by key speakers who attended the recent ‘New Roles for Landcare’ forum are now available.  Read about;

    • Design principles for urban food production systems,
    • Working with developers and others who want to offset the clearing of native vegetation,
    • land stewardship practices and payment for ecosystem services.

    For presenter notes click here.


    Rabbit Control Field Day

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    If you have problems with rabbits on your property then come along to this very informative Field Day.

    Join Regional Vic Farm Services as they discuss the dynamics of rabbit populations and control measures required for successful eradication.

    Demonstrations will include oat and cut carrot baiting (Pindonne and 1080), smoking and fumigation with Phostoxin, and eradication using a ‘Rotenator’.

    Where: 406 Gooch’s Land, Pastoria East


    Malmsbury Landcare Group wildflower walk

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    The Malmsbury Landcare Group invite you on a wildflower walk in the Lauriston Nature Reserve.

    Where: Kyneton- Drummond Road, just west of the Lauriston Village.

    Following the success of last year’s event, group secretary John Walter will lead you on amazing walk where you will learn of the abundance of wildflowers he has discovered in the reserve.

    A sausage sizzle lunch will be provided at the Lauriston Hall following the walk.  Please bring your own drinks, salads etc.  Parking will be available in the cutting or on Portwines Rd opposite the Nature Reserve.


    Friends of Campbells Creek Community Day and BBQ

    Posted on 14 October, 2009 by Connecting Country

    Enjoy a short walk or bike ride along the Creek, followed by a free BBQ. Everyone welcome.

    Please come and join us for a short walk or ride along the proposed creek-side pedestrian/ bike path.   See the good work done by the local community and school children on our tree planting days, or just enjoy a morning out along the creek.

    Where: Campbells Creek Park (opposite Primary School), Main Road, Campbells Creek.

    We will be supplying a BBQ and salad along with refreshments.
    For those who wish, we will also have available a plant for you to adopt and take home.

    Bring your bike or walking shoes, a hat and some water.
    We look forward to seeing you there!

    For more information contact Stephen Ellis on 5472 3678