Woodend Landcare – July 2021 News

Woodend Landcare invites you to join us on Monday 16 August for an interesting evening celebrating Woodend Landcare and our local grasslands. 

Woodend Grasslands Talk

Martin Roberts will be speaking about the value and importance of local grasslands. These are the most threatened ecosystem types in our region. Martin will discuss the management of a valuable existing grassland – the Woodend Grassland Reserve – including the role of ecological burns. He will also highlight the steps taken to recreate a grassland at the Quarry Rd retarding basin. Martin Roberts is the Bushland Reserves Officer at Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

AGM – would you like to join the committee?

On the same evening, we will hold our Annual General Meeting. We encourage you to consider joining the committee – we’d love some new faces at our bi-monthly meetings. Please contact Kate if you are interested on 5427 2312 or email woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

The grassland talk and AGM will be held online via zoom at 7.30pm on Monday 16 August. Email woodendlandcare@gmail.com to rsvp and for the zoom link. 

cropped-dsc4719.jpg

Join or Renew your Membership

Now is that time of year when we ask members to renew their Landcare membership. Membership demonstrates support for our group and ensures participants are covered by insurance at our working bees. We currently have 48 members (including families) – it would be great to see this membership grow. If you would like to join, click here to download a Woodend Landcare Membership Form.

Our annual membership fee remains $20 and you can join or renew your membership by either:

  • sending cash or cheque to Woodend Landcare, PO Box 297, Woodend 3442; or
  • paying $20 electronically (include your name in the transaction). Account details: Woodend Landcare, Westpac Bank, BSB 033-674, Acct 982435. 

2021-22 Calendar

Our monthly Working Bees are set to resume in August. Below is a snippet of our calendar for the remainder of the year so you can note the dates in your diary.

Click here to download the 2021-22 Woodend Landcare calendar (word)

calander july-dec 2021

A reminder that Working Bees will be cancelled on days of Total Fire Ban without further notification.

Thursday Crew working bees are held on Thursday morning at 9 am (when weather and restrictions allow). Contact Dave Bower on dvbower65@gmail.com if you would like to join the Thursday crew mailing list. 

Plants and Animals of the Wombat Forest | Online event, 2-4pm, Sunday 8 August

Join the Macedon Ranges Field Naturalists to learn more about the plants and animals of the Wombat Forest. Gayle Osborne and Trevor Speirs from Wombat Forestcare will describe the special species such as the Powerful Owl, Greater Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale and important flora as well as efforts underway to protect and document them.

Click here to book

owl

Powerful owls spotted locally!

A Woodend resident recently found a Powerful Owl along Black Forest Drive. This exciting discovery had us thinking about how we can help protect this beautiful but threatened species in our area. Click here to listen to local nature writer Tanya Loos explain how choosing a better rodenticide will give the species a much better chance.  

Have your say – Macedon Ranges Shire Rural Land Use Strategy

The draft Rural Land Use Strategy seeks to update the policy direction for rural land in the Macedon Ranges Shire. The strategy is currently open for feedback. Click here to find out more

More great Landcare News

Wombat Forestcare – July 2021 Newsletter – includes a article on the recently announced Wombat-Lerderderg National Park and impacts from the big storm. 

North Central Chat – July 2021 Edition

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. 

echindas

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. 

reveg

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.  

20190819_204916

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 – 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!

20160925_110457_resized-copy

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