Woodend Landcare – January 2021 News

Sunday Working Bees are Back! 

We are very pleased to be starting our Sunday working bees again. To make up for lost time, we are planning two working bees in February!
 
On Sunday the 7th of February from 9 am, we will be working in the paddocks near the Children’s Park. Tasks will include woody weed removal, ivy removal, plant guard maintenance and a check of the ornamental trees Landcare have planted in this area.  The best place to park is near the gym in Wood St. Look out for the blue Landcare trailer to find us. 
 
On Sunday the 28th of February from 9 am, we will target willow and gorse regrowth downstream of Romsey Road. Park at Ruby Mackenzie Park and meet us near the Shirley Park weir. 
 
Please register your interest in attending our working bees or Thursday Crew by emailing woodendlandcare@gmail.com. Newcomers are always very welcome. 
 
Due to COVID restrictions we encourage participants to bring their own secateurs, gloves, and protective eye and ear wear. A tasty morning tea is provided at our Sunday Working Bees. Landcare events will be cancelled if a total fire ban is declared in the Central district.
 
Let’s hope we can get in a more consistent run of working bees this year as, after the wet past year, the weeds have not taken a break. Our volunteer work is more important than ever.

Flash back – Planting ‘the Paddocks’

Ten years ago we planted advanced ornamental trees at the extension to the Children’s Park – affectionately known as ‘the paddocks’. These days the Macedon Ranges Shire Council parks crew do a fantastic job mowing and keeping it looking neat and tidy. When we get dry spells, David Gossip is deeply committed to watering the newer trees. This area is already nice, but will only get better with some great shade and autumn colour trees as they mature. This is where our first working bee for 2021 will be held – we hope to see you there!

Thursday Crew in Action

The Thursday crew is also back in action on many important sites around town. The before and after photos below show the impact of their recent activity cleaning up the Trees for Mum site near Lake Earnshaw. Thursday Crew working bees are held every Thursday morning at 9 am at different venues around Woodend during most of the year. Contact Dave Bower if you would like to get involved: dvbower65@gmail.com.
 

Works happening along the creek and around town

We are very pleased to see some important weed control being undertaken along Five Mile Creek near Bowen Street. The tidy up under the powerlines looks amazing – this is the last remaining really bad area between the High St bridge and Romsey Road to have the woody weeds removed and it will be so much easier now to access and maintain that area.

Down by the creek, there is a big oak tree which will be a beautiful sitting place in the years to come. Local contractor, Pat Mansbridge from Bushco Land Management, has done an excellent job. If you get a chance, don your work boots and take a look!

Further downstream, a Working for Victoria Crew from the North Central Catchment Management Authority have been removing weeds along creek behind the pool. Hosted by Macedon Ranges Shire Council, the crew have also been working in the Woodend Grassland Reserve, Quarry Road Retarding Basin, and Old Ashbourne Road Reserve.

Thanks to the Environment Team at Macedon Ranges Shire Council for making all of this important restoration work happen around town. We (Council and Landcare) will now have to be vigilant over the coming years to maintain these efforts.

Video – Celebrating the Wildflowers of Newham and Woodend

We have enjoyed working with Newham Landcare to develop a photographic display that celebrates the wildflowers found in Woodend’s Grassland Reserve and Quarry Road Reserve, and along the rural roadsides of the Newham district. Produced as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, you can watch it here: https://mrsg.org.au/environment.

How many plants can you name?

Wildflower video

A Box of Habitat Updatea box of habitat

There was a tremendous amount of interest in our ‘Box of Habitat’ initiative. We received orders for 95 Boxes of Habitat from 34 Woodend residents. That is some 4560 native plants! What an incredible outcome this will be for our native animals, birds and insects.
 
We have submitted our order to Tree Project who have confirmed that the plants are now being grown by their committed volunteers.  Woodend Landcare has also ordered some additional (and more difficult to grow) species through Western Plains Flora. This will help to ensure recipients get a really interesting and diverse Box of Habitat. We anticipate the boxes will be ready for pick up in late winter / early Spring this year. 

Looking ahead – Woodend Landcare’s 2021 Calendar

Click here to view our 2021 calendar. To help you easily update your diary, here is a snippet through till May 2021:

landcare calender

 

November News – AGM, Working Bee and more

Working Bee and AGM – Sunday 22 November

After a long absence, our next Sunday working bee is set for 22 November from 9am until 12 pm. The working bee will be concentrating on weed control in the Pyke/Wood St paddocks, which are east of the Children’s Park and south of the creek. There will be a cap on numbers at 10 and a sign-in on arrival.

Our AGM will also be outdoors this year, held immediately after the working bee at 12:30. We do welcome new members on the committee. Please email us if you are interested. 

Morning tea and a sandwich lunch provided.

In order to keep COVID-safe we ask attendees to note:

  1. RSVP is essential to woodendlandcare@gmail.com so we can manage numbers for the day. There will be a cap at 10 adults – sorry, no children.
  2. Bring all of your own clearly identifiable gloves and tools to avoid sharing.
  3. Remember safe distancing while you work and during breaks. We will ensure that everyone is spread out during the morning’s activities.
  4. Soap, water and hand sanitiser will be available on site.
  5. If you are feeling unwell in anyway, please do not attend. 

Finally, please wear sturdy footwear, full-length protective clothing, gloves and eye protection. Also, don’t forget your hat and water bottle. 

Any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are super excited to be able to get out there again!

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Creating Pollinator Corridors in the Upper Campaspe

The Upper Campaspe Landcare Network has launched a project designed to establish new – and enhance existing – pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources for bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinating insects and wildlife through the Upper Campaspe Catchment. Our Landcare Facilitator, Rebekah Ritchie, explains… 

“While we do not have exact figures for the Upper Campapse (yet), Australia has around 2,000 native bee species, all of which are important pollinators. There are also a couple of thousand butterfly, wasp, fly, moth, beetle, thrip and ant species, some of which are documented pollinators, alongside birds, bats and some smaller mammals.

Worldwide 90 percent of flowering plant species depend at least partly on animal pollinators for reproduction. Pollinators are declining in both diversity and number – facing threats including habitat fragmentation, harmful chemicals, invasive species, and of course, climate change.”

What are Pollinator Corridors???

Pollinator Corridors are connecting patches of vegetation of various scale designed to help indigenous pollinators move through the landscape.  They are designed for native species—bees, insects, butterflies, moths, birds, and bats among others—that keep local ecosystems running.

Individual contributions to Pollinator Corridors can be as small as a potted plant or as large as a field! The scope is only limited by your space, time, and capability.

Useful videos to help you get started

During Pollinator Week, UCLN presented a series of useful videos on how to encourage pollinators to your property! Click on the links below to watch:

Dr Mark Hall, helps us to identify our insect pollinators – native bees, wasps and flies – and how to create “beescapes”.

UCLN President, John Walter teaches us how to site and record pollinator sightings!

UCLN Treasurer, Chris Gymer creates a pollinator watering station and a butterfly puddler!

UCLN Vice-President, Michael Nott builds a native bee hotel – or three!

UCLN Landcare Facilitator, Rebekah, makes a Bug Mug

For more info visit: www.uppercampaspelandcare.org.au

Lasioglossum sp. (Halictid bee) on Dillwynia cinerascens by John Walter

Quarry Road Wildflower Area     

Woodend is blessed with several excellent remnant areas where wildflowers can be enjoyed from about September to December, especially in wet years.

In 2016 we had a wet year and the wildflower display on a section of Victrack land adjacent to Quarry Road was fabulous. Ecologist Karl Just was asked to do a flora survey and recorded no less than 81 indigenous species and two threatened species. With a more detailed survey he predicted that many more species would be identified.

Click here to read Karl Just’s Quarry Rd report.

2020 has also been a wetter than average year and, as a result, the display has probably been even better than in 2016. The prime viewing times are sunny days during October and November, but there are plenty of flowers at other times during spring and early summer.

The only threats to this area are the proliferation of introduced weeds such as Broom and Gorse and sometimes some overzealous mowing by local residents which can decimate the flowers just as they are about to flower and set seed. Thankfully mowing is usually restricted to the narrow walking pad through the area, so does minimal harm.

Please enjoy the area, especially near the Washington Lane intersection if you get a chance. Try to avoid trampling the tiny plants. You can see most of the flowers from the footpad through the area. 

PS. The word on the street is that the Woodend Grasslands are also looking pretty spectacular at the moment.

wildflowers-quarry-rd

Cool Changes Woodend Region Climate Change Action Plan

Your feedback is invited on a community plan for local action on climate change, which has been developed over the past few months. The plan outlines actions to build on existing community activity for sustainability, under the themes:

  • Natural environment, water and biodiversity
  • Waste, recycling and the circular economy
  • Sustainable and secure transport
  • Secure, efficient and renewable energy
  • Food security and regenerative agriculture
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Better built environment

Importantly, all themes and actions are supported by the overarching principles of (getting) People on Board (to work towards) Zero Net Emissions.

Click here to view the plan and give your feedback

Cool changes themes

NAIDOC Week in the Macedon Ranges

Watch the welcome to country and smoking ceremony as part of this year’s celebrations in the Macedon Ranges Shire. Jaara elder Uncle Rick Nelson of Dja Dja Wurrung explains some of the cultural foundations for this special ceremony at magnificent Hanging Rock.

Click here to watch the video

Naidoc week MRSC 2020

Woodend Landcare News: Habitat Boxes, Interesting Events and More…

a box of habitatWoodend Landcare partners with Tree Project to offer ‘A Box of Habitat’ to Woodend residents.

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

Woodend residents can order one or more boxes (max 10), at a cost of $30 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 2020 will be available for planting in Spring 2021.

If you would like to order some habitat for your place, please email woodendlandcare@gmail.com with the following information by Sunday the 20th of September:

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

Woodend Landcare will confirm your order by the end of September. Please note that final numbers depend on interest from local residents (because we can only order in lots of 500 plants).

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.

Special thanks to Chloe Green from Howzit Greeny for the our fabulous new ‘Box of Habitat’ logo! And also to Penny Roberts from Newham Landcare for her guidance on beginning our Tree Project journey and generous offer of local seed for the project.

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

echindas

Biodiversity on your Bush Block

Here is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the native plants and animals that can be found on properties around Woodend. A free, three part Webinar Series presented by local Macedon Ranges ecologists and brought to you by the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network and Macedon Ranges Shire Council. 

Pollinator Corridors | 11 am Saturday 12 September
Mercedes Ramirez
talks about the worldwide importance of pollinators and her personal experience with the creation of the Riddells Creek Pollinator Corridor. Click here to book.

Living with local fauna |11 am Saturday 19 September
Renowned local naturalist, Tanya Loos explores the wonders of living alongside the fauna on your bush-block. Tanya’s blog Birds, Bats, Beetles and Blossums is a fantastic place learn more about the beautiful flora and fauna of the Wombat Forest and surrounds. Tanya is also the author of the book, Daylesford Nature Diary: six seasons in the foothill forests. Click here to book. 

What’s growing on your bush block? | 11 am Saturday 26 September
Macedon Ranges ecologist Bianca Aquilina talks about ways to enhance and protect the indigenous flora you have on your land and how to encourage more to regenerate through seed setting and plantings. Click here to book  

trees and lightLocal Farmers Journey in Holistic Farming – Webinar Series

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is hosting an interesting series of webinars featuring four local farmers journey in holistic farming.

  • Webinar 1 – Sam White (Sidonia Beef) | 7 pm Tuesday 8 September
  • Webinar 2 – Patrick Francis (Moffitts Farm – Romsey) | 7 pm Tuesday 15 September
  • Webinar 3 – Breanne Francis (Gisborne) and Gerard Noonan (Malmsbury) | 7 pm Tuesday 22 September

Click here for flyer with more information. To register visit: www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/environment-events.

More Landcare News

North Central CMA Chat – September 2020

 

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.

Woodend Landcare – October 2018 News

Working Bee – Ruby McKenzie Park

9am-12pm | Sunday 28 October | Ruby McKenzie Park

Our October Sunday working bee is fast approaching on the 28th from 9 am till 12pm. We will base ourselves at Ruby McKenzie Park in Tennyson St and the aim is to attend to the Spring 2017 plantings. This will involve whipper snipping around individual plants, some plant guard maintenance and the removal of small hawthorns and other woody weeds in this area. This will continue the great work done in this area in late Summer and Autumn.

The tool trailer will be onsite but please bring secateurs, loppers, gloves, long protective clothing, sun, eye and ear protection. A couple of extra whipper snippers would be handy. Morning tea is provided. For more information contact woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

Talk – Living with Fire and Biodiversity

7.30pm | Wednesday 14 November | Woodend Neighbourhood House

As the weather warms many of us start thinking about preparing for the next fire season ahead. Unfortunately the things we love about living in the bush, become a source of fear and anxiety in the hot, dry months.

How do we protect ourselves from bushfire and still protect the plants and animals that make our area so special?

On Wednesday the 14th of November, Owen Gooding, CFA’s Vegetation Management Officer and a leading researcher on vegetation management and fire, will discuss how to manage your property to reduce the risk of fire and to retain vegetation.

Owen suggests that you can enhance biodiversity and manage fire risk at the same time by taking practical steps to understand your vegetation, minimise fire danger and maximise biodiversity. He will help us understand fire behaviour, introduce a system of thinking in management zones and explain how we can landscape for bushfire protection.

The talk will commence at 7.30pm at the Woodend Neighbourhood House (47 Forest St, Woodend) and will be followed by a light supper. To assist with catering, please RSVP by emailing woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Monday 22 October – Sunday 28 October | Somewhere in the outdoors near you!

Celebrate National Bird Week by taking part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count — you will be joining thousands of people from across the country who will be heading out into their backyards, local parks or favourite outdoor spaces to take part.

To get involved all you need is 20 minutes, your favourite outdoor space (this doesn’t have to be your actual backyard), and some keen eyesight. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert — we will be there to help you out. Simply record the birds you know and look up those you don’t on the ‘Aussie Bird Count’ app or the Aussie Bird Count website. You’ll instantly see live statistics and information on how many people are taking part near you and the number of birds and species counted in your neighbourhood and the whole of Australia!

Not only will you get to know your feathered neighbours, but you’ll be contributing to a vital pool of information from across the nation that will help us see how Australian birds are faring.

So get your friends and family together during National Bird Week, head into the great outdoors and start counting!

Report from our September Working Bee

Many thanks to all who came along to our September Working Bee along Five Mile Creek. It was a great turnout of 18 adults and many kids too.

As a result, we have cleaned out all the oak seedlings from beneath the canopy of the big oak tree and hopefully that area can be added to the councils mowing regime to keep new seedlings from growing again. It will be a good spot to pause during a walk along the creek track and maybe one day we should get a circular tree seat around the trunk. We also removed a number of iris clumps, gorse, and blackberry etc in adjacent areas.

About 400 metres downstream, near the Heron St levee, another group removed a large thicket of privet together with some hawthorn, elm and blackberries that co-habited with the privet. The privet was cut and painted but some will likely re-shoot and may need a spray at a future date to finish it off.

As usual, thanks to Chris, Linda, Susan and Liana for a great morning tea. If only we could get weather like this for all working bees.

Peter Yates

Landcare News from our Region

Click on the following links to read more interesting local Landcare news.

North Central Landcare Chat – October 2018

Wombat Forestcare – September 2018