The Buzz project: promoting pollinators of Central Victoria, Landcare planting
Posted on 28 November, 2023 by Hadley Cole
Pollinators can range from bees, butterflies, flies, wasps, moths, birds and even bats and are crucial to the successful reproduction and conservation of many of Australia’s native plant species. With reports of decline of pollinators across the globe due to land clearing and climate change, now is the time to plant, create and nurture habitat for our local native pollinators.
Throughout 2023 Connecting Country has been rolling out The Buzz Project: promoting pollinators of Central Victoria. During the winter months, while the pollinators were lying low, Landcare groups from across the region were busy planting pollinator-attracting plants at their sites. Connecting Country distributed 240 plants to Landcare groups from the region, including species such as; Chocolate Lily, Matted Flax-lily, Narrow-leaf Bitter-pea and Sticky Everlasting-daisy.
Landcare groups added the plants to their existing sites, adding a greater diversity of flowering plants and encouraging our native pollinators to move through the landscape.
Victoria Gully Landcare Group considered sites across the gully carefully when finding a home for the pollinator-attracting plants. They looked for areas that were protected from kangaroos, sites that provided dappled shade and were protected from recreational activities as well as having reasonable soil, and manageable weeds. The group planted within the protection of a 4m diameter temporary chicken wire fence and chose to plant nice and early in the planting season to give the plants the best chance of survival.
Group members of Muckleford Catchment Landcare Group planted the pollinator species across properties in the groups’ area including Walmer, adding a diversity of understory plants to their existing work. To protect the plants from the grazing of curious animals, the planters used large chicken wire guards to give the plants the best chance of thriving.
Local Aboriginal Landcare group Tabilk Mooroopook Upper Loddon Landcare Group, who are auspice by Nalderun, planted their pollinator plants at Me-Mandook Galk, Nalderun’s ancestor tree property in Chetwon. They reported a successful planting day with Nalderun’s young First Nation leaders.
“Many thanks from us here at Nalderun (and from the native pollinators at Me-Mandook Galk!) for the plants. They were planted by our School-based trainees (SBATs) out at the Ancestor Tree, both in and around the Bush Tucker beds, on one of their TAFE days studying Certificate II in Horticulture. The students had only just finished creating bee-hotels the week before, so we’re looking forward to attracting & hosting lots of amazing pollinators out there! “
Photos below show the Nalderun First Nations youth planting pollinator species at Me-Mandook Galk, in Chewton. Photos by Nalderun.
Harcourt Valley Landcare group added their pollinator plants to an existing work site along Barkers Creek in Harcourt. Volunteers enjoyed a chilly morning out planting at one of their treasured sites on Barkers Creek in Harcourt. The pollinator-attracting plants added value to existing understorey plantings the group have been carrying out over the years at this site. The group noticed Eastern Yellow Robins and Grey Shrike Thrush at the site on the day of the planting and they also spent a little time learning how to identify the local River Red Gums.
Photos below show the Harcourt Valley Landcare group members busily planting along Barker Creek in Harcourt. Photos by Bonnie Humphreys.
Elphinstone Land Management Association planted their pollinator plant species at a new experimental site along a seasonal creek in Elphinstone. The group have formed a ‘Cool Places Project’ where they are aiming to restore sites that already provide shade and protection from the heat with indigenous plants. As the site is along a creek line there are challenges with Gorse and Blackberry invasion, however, the group are working slowly to get rid of the weeds and replace them with indigenous flora, 10 square meters at a time by trialling solarisation of the weeds. The aim over time is to build the biodiversity at the site by adding layers of indigenous flora to fill the ground cover, lower and middle stories.
We are delighted to see local Landcare and friends groups volunteering to plant and provide food sources and habitat for our local native pollinators across the region. By planting local indigenous plants we can provide greater biodiversity and connectivity of pollinator corridors that will see our local pollinators thrive and survive. And when they are doing well so are many of our other local fauna and flora! Thank you to all the groups who volunteered their time to plant these pollinator species across the region. We look forward to watching these plants grow, recruit and continue their ecological cycles.
The Buzz Project is funded by the 2022 Victorian Landcare Grants through the North Central Catchment Management Authority.