Woodend Landcare News – August 2020

Working Bee Update

There has been little action on the working bee front for the past six months due to the restrictions around COVID-19. In May, a few hardy volunteers replaced six of the exotic trees near the Woodend Children’s Park. This area will be a shady treasure in years to come.

Unfortunately our August bee will not go ahead. We are hoping, however, to hold a working bee on Sunday the 23rd September. More details will be provided closer to the event.

Gorse

Gorse is starting to flower locally, so now is a good time to treat infestations before it seeds. It’s bright flowers make it easy to spot and identify. Click here for tips on managing gorse. 

Reducing the footprint of your annual property ‘clean up’  

Spring is the time of year that most of us start thinking ahead to summer and preparing our properties for fire. Fuel reduction is an important part of life in bushfire prone areas, but it does not exclusively mean burning off. Consider minimising burning off and its costly carbon and habitat loss. Instead, try a combination of techniques to reduce the fuel load at your place. You’ll be reducing the environmental footprint of your pre-summer clean up and boosting biodiversity.

Here are five ideas from Woodend Landcare:

Limit your raking and debris removal to your house protection zone. Focus your tidying up efforts to your house protection zone and leave the leaves, sticks, branches and logs further afield for the bugs, reptiles, birds and animals who need it for food and habitat. Leaf litter helps your trees and plants by retaining moisture, providing nutrients and reducing erosion.

Put your leaf litter in your greenwaste bin or take it to the tip. It is free to drop off loads of weed-free green waste at the Woodend Transfer Station. Even better, your leaf litter and debris is recycled and ends up as useful compost, putting carbon back into the soil.

Leave big logs and branches for animal homes. A decaying log provides much needed habitat and food to a huge range of organisms, fungi, frogs, lizards, birds and animals.

Give your leaf litter to your chickens instead. A thick bed of leaf litter at the bottom of their cage will keep your chickens feet dry, and give them endless scratching pleasure!

Allow the leaf litter to compost. A pile of leaves left to breakdown overtime will create a wonderful natural compost for your garden. Be careful when moving these though – old mulch piles are often home to local fauna, like echidnas who are known create tunnels to nest and raise their young.

Want to know more? Goulburne Broken CMA have just released an excellent booklet exploring the role of – and need for – fallen logs, branches, sticks, and leaves as habitat. Click here to check it out.

leaf litter

The treasures in leaf litter, illustration by Lynn O’Hara.

Cool Changes District 3442

Like many local groups and community members, Woodend Landcare has been involved in the climate action planning process for Woodend and district. The project is nearing an exciting stage – a final on-line workshop will take place on Tuesday 18 August. It is not too late to get involved. Click here for more information and to register.

Understanding your farm soil – Webinars

The Healthy Landscapes for Healthy Livestock program delivered by the Macedon Ranges Shire Council in partnership with the National Landcare program, has an interesting webinar series on understanding your soils.

Tuesday, 18 August 2020 | 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM

Dr Fiona Robertson from Agriculture Victoria, and Matthew Warnken from AgriProve: Soil Carbon Solutions will present on:

  • Soil carbon: What is it? Why is it important?
  • Soil carbon sequestration and soil carbon credits.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020 | 07:00 PM to 08:30 PM

Professor Roger Armstrong from Agriculture Victoria will present on:

  • Can applying organic matter improve grain yields on hostile clay soils?
  • Soil amelioration, the value of adding lime, organic matter, etc. to the subsoil.

Click here for more information and to register.

Creating a Garden for Wildlife: A gardener’s journey

Jill Teschendorff from Glenlyon has written a delightful book about gardening for wildlife called ‘Grow Wild: Gardening to Sustain Wildlife in the Hepburn Shire’, published by Wombat Forestcare. The book was written to encourage residents and landowners to preserve their natural environment and develop habitat in their gardens.

On Tuesday the 18th of August at 7.30 pm, Jill will take us on a virtual journey through her property in Glenlyon. Learn how a barren and treeless house block can be transformed into a beautiful garden that provides essential habitat for local wildlife. To register for the webinar, email John Binnion: horti@outlook.com.au.

Grow Wild At Home

Tricky birds with Geoff Park and Chris Tzaros – 24 August 2020

Connecting Country is hosting an all-star lineup for a workshop on identifying tricky bird species of the central Victoria. Two highly-regarded birdwatchers and ecologists, Geoff Park and Chris Tzaros, will present on Monday 24 August 2020 at 7 pm. Geoff will be speaking on identifying raptors and Chris on identifying thornbills, followed by an interactive panel discussion and a chance to ask the experts your bird watching questions. Click here to register for this event.

Regenerative Grazing Short Course – Starts October

Applications are now open for Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s 2020/21 regenerative grazing short course. Delivered by experts, Graeme Hand and Colin Seis, the course will be held over multiple sessions in spring, summer and autumn. Click here to register your interest.

More Great Local News

Wombat Forestcare June 2020  – fascinating articles on local fungi.

Newham Landcare Autumn/Winter 2020 – features local roadside fauna and Snow Gums.

North Central Chat August 2020 – lots of regional Landcare news and events.

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