Woodend Landcare – November News

Working Bee november 2021

Working bees resume in February 2022 and the Thursday Crew is back!

After a pretty quiet couple of years, we are looking forward to resuming our working bees in February 2022. There is lots to be done and new helping hands are always very welcome. Check our calendar for dates here.

In the meantime, the Thursday Crew continue their impressive work around town. Thursday Crew working bees are held every Thursday morning at different venues around Woodend during most of the year.  Please contact Dave on 0405 910 176 or email dvbower65@gmail.com if you are interested in being involved.

Five Mile Creek survey update

Woodend Landcare thanks everyone who has responded to our survey about File Mile Creek. We have had a tremendous response so far.

We will soon collate the information to pass onto the landscape designers who will begin working on the master plan in the new year. We will be sure to share the draft for comment when it is ready.

The survey closes at the end of November. Click here to tell us your five wishes for Five Mile Creek.

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Plogging for health

One thing we have learnt from the community survey so far is that the biggest use of the Five Mile Creek corridor is for exercise and one of the biggest concerns about the creek is rubbish.

So, let us introduce you to something new and exciting taking Europe by storm – plogging! Plogging is the combination of two words ‒ ‘jogging’ and the Swedish phrase for pick up, ‘plocka upp’. It means picking up litter while you get fitter! You get your exercise and make a difference for the environment at the same time.

Plogging can be as simple as heading out on your normal exercise route, collecting rubbish as you go (sort and dispose at home). Or it might be a springboard for you to plan and involve friends or family, your business, or sporting club.

Clean Up Australia has a great guide to safe plogging if you’d like to learn more: https://www.cleanup.org.au/plogging-guide. Everyone’s contribution adds up.

We would love to hear about your plogging efforts. Email us at or share your photos on our Facebook page.

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A Box of Habitat grows

Orders are now closed for next year’s Box of Habitat program. The take-up has been fantastic: 40 residents have ordered 78 boxes of habitat. Importantly, many of the orders are going to storm affected sites. It is really inspiring to see the effort people are putting in to restoring habitat on their properties.

Remember that different species of wildlife need different habitats ‒ so a property with a greater variety of habitat features is likely to support more native animal species. Characteristics of a healthy habitat include:

  • a diversity of native overstorey, understorey and groundcover plants, reflective of the original vegetation type
  • old, large trees (dead or alive) with hollows
  • regenerating native trees, shrubs and groundcovers
  • a ground layer dominated by native perennial plants
  • fallen timber/debris and leaf litter
  • areas that are largely free of weeds and introduced grasses

a box of habitat

Woodend Landcare – October 2021 News – What’s your five wishes for Five Mile Creek?

 

Take Five Minutes to tell us your Five Wishes for Five Mile Creek

Five Mile Creek is a special part of Woodend. It links the town, protects important threatened species, and is a beautiful place to walk and enjoy nature. Woodend Landcare have been working for years to clear weeds, revegetate and enhance community access and facilities along the creek.

Now, in collaboration with Macedon Ranges Shire Council, we are creating a master plan for the public land along Five Mile Creek through the town.

We want to hear from you about how to make the creek even better in the years to come.

Please take five minutes to fill in our survey – CLICK HERE to access the survey.

Tell us how you use the creek and your top five wishes for the future of Five Mile Creek. We’re interested in your ideas for any or all parts of the creek from Romsey Rd downstream to Gregory St (near Buffalo Stadium).

You could consider improvements to the natural environment, facilities you would like to see and exactly where those should go, or fun ways to make the area more educational and engaging. We encourage you to be creative and think big!

Alternatively, visit the Woodend Library where we have paper versions of the survey available and a big map to illustrate your vision. You can also email us your ideas (woodendlandcare@gmail.com). We can’t wait to hear from you.

This project has been made possible with funding from Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Community Funding Scheme.

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Free Black Gums for storm affected properties

Do you live along the floodplains of Five Mile Creek or Slatey Creek in Woodend? If so, your property is likely perfect habitat for the endangered Black Gum (Eucalyptus aggregata).

How to spot a Black Gum:

  • Small to medium-sized woodland tree that grows 18–20 m tall
  • Bark on the trunk and main branches is dark grey to black, deeply fibrous or flaky
  • Glossy green leaves are alternately arranged along the stems and are 5–12 cm long by 1–2 cm wide
  • White flowers are arranged in groups of seven and appear from November to May
  • Grows on alluvial soils in cold, poorly drained flats and hollows

Black Gum, Woodend  (No shot settings)

Woodend Landcare is aware that a number of Black Gums were lost during the June storm. We are keen to get a better idea of the impacts of the storm on Black Gum populations. If you have experienced Black Gum losses on your place, please email us with your stories woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

Thanks to the Threatened Species Conservancy, we have some Black Gum seedlings to give away – email us to express your interest (and quantities needed) and help to preserve Woodend’s iconic tree. You can pick them up at our stall at the Farmers Market on the 6 November.

Click here to download a guide to identifying and conserving Black Gums from the Threatened Species Conservancy

Benefits of riparian vegetation image

Working bees resume on Sunday 31 October

We are going to have a small, but much needed, working bee at 9am on Sunday 21 October along Five Mile Creek near Heron Street. 

Jobs include cutting and painting some medium sized flowering broom plants below the track, also some small elms and willows and a few other woody weeds in the area such as Cordylines. Some of it will involve some steep areas in long grass, so sturdy footwear recommended. There is also a lot of ivy climbing up the trunks of trees as you head upstream (away from town) and it would be a very worthwhile task to at least cut those plants at the base of the trees to prevent them from flowering and seeding.

Please note the COVID safe requirements outlined in the flyer below and RSVP so we have an idea of numbers at woodendlandcare@gmail.com

flyer - working bee - woodend landcare - 31 October 2021

Woodend Landcare at the Farmers Market

On Saturday 6 November we will have a stall at the mini-sustainable living festival at the Woodend Farmers Market. We will have free Black Gum trees to give away and are keen to talk to you about your ideas for Woodend Five Mile Creek to inform the master plan. Please come along and say hello!

Click here for more information 

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Biodiversity Crisis: Animals & plants of the Macedon Ranges exhibition

Did you know that 376 animal species and 1,457 varieties of native plants have been recorded in the Macedon Ranges?

A new interactive exhibition launched at the Kyneton Museum showcases the unique flora and fauna of the Macedon Ranges while exploring the threats to our biodiversity and what we can do to help.

‘A Biodiversity Crisis: Animals and Plants of the Macedon Ranges’ brings together a collection of historical accounts of local species and photographs. This is a unique opportunity to get up close with a collection of animal specimens or peek inside some natural tree hollows to see who lives inside. 

A family-friendly experience with hands-on kids activities, the Kyneton Museum is open Friday to Sunday 11-4pm.  

Click here for more information

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A Box of Habitat – Last chance to order for 2022

We are pleased to share that we will again partner with Tree Project to offer ‘A Box of Habitat’ to Woodend residents.

Each Box of Habitat comes with approx 48 plants – carefully selected to suit the Woodend area. They include a range of grasses, ground cover, shrubs and a few trees. We aim to have 10 or more different species in each box.

Woodend residents can order one or more boxes (max 6), at a cost of $40 per box. Woodend Landcare will coordinate the ordering and delivery of the plants.  You need to commit to planting the plants yourself, including providing guards and any necessary site preparation such as weed control, fencing and ripping.

Plants ordered in September 2021 will be available for planting around June 2022.

To order: If you would like to order some habitat for your property, please email woodendlandcare@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Number of boxes you would like
  • A short description of where you will plant the seedlings (to help with species selection)

To pay: Please transfer your total amount ($40 x number of boxes) to our Woodend Landcare account (Woodend Landcare, Westpac Bank, BSB 033-674, Acct 982435). Ensure you put your name on your transfer details.

Important: Orders and payment must be received by the evening of Sunday 19 September so we can finalise our order with Tree Project. 

Tree Project is volunteer organization leading the way in sustainable revegetation throughout Victoria by providing low cost indigenous seedlings to landholders. If you are unable to plant native plants on your place, you might like to offer to grow the seedlings. Visit their website to find out more: www.treeproject.org.au.

For more information email woodendlandcare@gmail.com or call Krista on 0408 204 449.

Woodend Landcare – May News and Bee

Woodend Landcare May Working Bee – 23 May

Our final Sunday working bee for the current season will be at Slatey Creek Black Gum Reserve on Sunday 23 May from 9am until 12pm. This is a lovely small bush reserve managed by local residents throughout the year. Once every twelve to eighteen months Woodend Landcare helps out by scheduling a working bee here. Tasks include woody weed removal, plant guard maintenance, litter pickup and burning off of some debris piles if conditions are suitable. 
 
The reserve is 1.4 km on the left along Ashbourne Rd and parking is in the no through road on the east side of the reserve. Wear protective full-length clothing, suitable footwear and bring secateurs, safety glasses and gloves. The work at this site is easier than some of our more recent working bees so come along for a relaxing morning and our tasty morning tea (provided). As always, newcomers to Landcare are very welcome. Due to any possible changes in Covid restrictions and to help with catering, please register your interest at woodendlandcare@gmail.com
 
After this event we head into our Winter recess. Our Sunday working bees will recommence on 23 August 2021. 

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Celebrate Ecosystem Restoration this World Environment Day – 5 June

World Environment Day encourages awareness of the environment. The theme for this year is ecosystem restoration. To celebrate, Macedon Ranges Shire Council is hosting a range of activities throughout the day. Click on the links below for more information and to register to attend the event.

  • Visit a farming property in Malmsbury where the owners are restoring ecosystems with the use of tree plantations and regenerative grazing beef cattle. The tour will commence at 2pm and finish at 3pm.
  • Tour of Black Hill Reserve, Kyneton. Join Council officers on a guided walk from 10am-12pm to look at the recovery of vegetation after the bushfires of 2015. 
  • Come along to a rehabilitated property in Newham to discuss the benefits of a healthy ecosystem. The tour will commence at 12pm and finish at 2pm.
  • Check out the stall at the Woodend Farmers Market to find out how to help restore ecosystems on your property and provide feedback on the Draft Roadside Conservation Management Plan.cows in field

Useful resource: Revegetating your property

Have you ever thought about the types of plants that once lived on your property? Planting native plants on your property will increase habitat for wildlife, reduce soil erosion, improve waterways and water quality, and provide shelter and shade to livestock. Council now has a handy resource to help work out what native plants to use in your gardens and revegetation projects. Click here to check it out. Also, remember that Woodend Landcare also has a simple guide for local planting which is available on our website. 

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Interested in Roadside Vegetation?

Roadside vegetation is pretty special and plays a important environmental role. Fortunately, Council has its first ever Draft Roadside Conservation Management Plan open for consultation. The draft plan sets out a series of actions aimed at protecting the conservation values of the shire’s rural roadsides while managing fire risk and maintaining road safety. Click here to check it out and provide feedback.  

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Inspiring viewing: Linking the Landscape – The Cobaw Biolink

This inspiring five minute video promotes the important role of the Cobaw Biolink in enhancing the connections between Mount Macedon and the Cobaw Range on both private and public land. Importantly, it shows that any environmental contribution, no matter how big or small, is vital. Landholders can help contribute through enhancing waterways, undertaking weed and pest control, protecting remnant vegetation,  revegetation and encouraging native grasslands on their properties.

The video has been produced by Newham & District Landcare Group, with funding support from Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Melbourne Water. Click here to watch

Cobaw biolink video

Woodend Landcare – March 2021 News

March Working Bee – 9 am, Sunday 28th of March, Heron St area

Our March working bee will be held around the Heron St levee bank. The focus will be on woody weed removal and we are particularly keen to tackle the Hawthorn that is growing on the steep banks. There will be plenty of work for every-one of all ages – especially enthusiastic volunteers who like to see an impact in a matter of hours.

The best place to park is along Campaspe Drive to the east of Heron St. Due to COVID restrictions we require participants to bring their own secateurs, sturdy gardening gloves and protective eye wear. Disposable waterproof gloves will be provided but need to be taken home for personal disposal. As with every Landcare working bee, dress appropriately in old, full length clothing and sturdy footwear. Gumboots may be useful at this working bee so bring some along if you have a pair.

The Landcare tool trailer will be onsite for more specialist equipment but be mindful we are trying to limit sharing of tools. If further restrictions require a cap on numbers any changes will be notified beforehand. For this reason and to help with catering our tasty morning teas, it is important to register your attendance. Please email woodendlandcare@gmail.com if you can attend. The working bee will be cancelled if a total fire ban is declared in the Central district.

While you are in the Heron Street area, take moment to check out the nearby 2016 Trees for Mum planting site – how has it changed from these photos taken over the past 5 years since it was first cleared?

A brief history of “the paddocks”

We had an excellent turn-out to our February working bee at the site affectionately known as “The Paddocks”. This refers to the area on the south side of Five Mile Creek between Bowen St. and Pyke St – not far along from the Children’s Park.

The Paddocks were once covered with a dense poplar thicket and an old landfill, probably dating back to the 19th century, was discovered north of the levee bank near Pyke St. In 2007, Woodend Landcare received a grant to clear the site of poplars and revegetate it with native species. The chipped poplars made quite a mess. To enable planting and future mowing, the entire area had to be ‘power raked’.

2,690 locally native trees, shrubs and grasses were planted in spring 2007 along the creek. Because of drought conditions at the time, these plantings were regularly watered over the following summer. A second planting of 350 plants was undertaken in early April 2008 by a Green Corps team – these are the larger ‘patches’ of trees you can now see along the path.

In autumn 2011, Woodend Landcare planted 21 non-native trees in The Paddocks to provide a visual contrast with the native plantings and also as future shade trees. This was part-funded by Council with many of the trees privately donated or bought by Landcare. The trees have been regularly tended and watered by Landcare volunteers.

Finally, in 2017, 120 grasses were added to the revegetation sites to create more habitat diversity.

Countless volunteer hours have gone into planting and maintaining The Paddocks over the years. Woodend Landcare would like to thank everyone who has played a valuable part in restoring the site. Today, it’s a lovely part of the Five Mile Creek Reserve which will only get better as the trees mature.

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Our second working bee in February was held around the Romsey Rd area of the Five Mile Creek Reserve. Peter Yates reports:  “Good job today. Twelve attendees. Removed and bagged three huge bags of thistles from on of the small dams and cut and painted lots of gorse and blackberry around the other. Also cleared an area east of the Curry Bridge of willow, blackberry and gorse.” It was also a chance to check out our new signs for the Landcare trailer. Thanks to Peter for organising these.

new landcare signs

More Landcare news to note:

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