Woodend Landcare – membership, events, and a video and weed to watch

Woodend Landcare Working Bees, AGM and Membership

Like for everyone, 2020 has proven to be a very quiet year for Woodend Landcare. Our working bees and Thursday Crew activities remain on hold while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. We are hoping to resume our activities in October and hold an AGM by the end of the year.

In the meantime, please consider joining or renewing your Woodend Landcare membership. Active memberships are really important to us ‒  it shows support for the group (which helps us with funding applications) and ensures you are properly insured when volunteering.  Please keep an eye on our website, and sign up for our newsletter for more details: www.woodendlandcare.org

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Black Gum Plant Giveaway

Black Gum (Eucalyptus aggregata) is a Nationally Endangered native tree that grows in NSW and Victoria. In Victoria, it is known only to the Woodend region. The Threatened Species Conservancy is working in partnership with Woodend Landcare and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council to bring this beautiful tree back from the brink of extinction. 
 
In recent months, they have been lucky to receive the support of a generous donor who has funded the propagation of hundreds of Black Gum seedlings to give to the Woodend and Ashbourne community. If you are a private landholder in these areas and are interested in growing Woodend’s iconic threatened gum, please feel free to contact the Threatened Species Conservancy at: info@tsconservancy.org. Plants will be available for pick up from a central location. Details will be confirmed with a follow up email.
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Taking care of Woodend Grassland Reserve

It has been brought to Woodend Landcare’s attention that some holes, jumps and tracks are being dug in the Woodend Grassland Reserve near Buffalo Stadium. The Reserve is a 9-hectare intact grassland that supports a vegetation community considered very rare for this region. The reserve is dominated by Kangaroo Grass with a rich diversity of grassland herbs, lilies and orchids. Ecologist Paul Foreman declared that Woodend Grassland Reserve is one of the best examples of a grassland in the region. We think it is a very special place, which we are lucky to have. Please enjoy it, but look after it. It is not an appropriate place for bikes or other damaging activities.

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Weed to watch ‒  Bluebell Creeper

We have noticed an explosion of Bluebell Creeper growing in bush areas around town. Bluebell Creeper is a vigorous, evergreen West Australian plant that grows to a height of 4 m. It may be a dense shrub or a climbing plant and has drooping clusters of blue or white flowers in spring and summer. This species produces copious amounts of seeds which are eaten by birds and foxes and spread in their droppings. It can smother native groundcovers and shrubs and can easily invade adjoining bushland. They are very easy to pull out while they are small and the ground is moist. Please make every effort to remove Bluebell Creeper from your property if you see it growing.  

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Video to watch – The Kingdom of Fungi

Fungi are fundamentally important organisms. They’re not just some kind of bizarre accessories in the landscape, but rather fungi underpin, pretty much every terrestrial ecosystem, on the planet. Join ecologist Alison Pouliot in this foray into the Kingdom Fungi – filmed locally in the Wombat Forest.

To watch, click here: https://vimeo.com/457577341 (5 minutes)

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Clover Glycine (Native Pea) Webinar

23rd of September | 7 – 7.45pm

Council’s Environment Team is running a Webinar that will be focusing on Native Pea’s, and specifically Clover Glycine, as lesser known and threatened species we have locally.

Karl Just is an ecologist who has worked extensively with Clover Glycine, and Native Pea’s, and brings a wealth of knowledge to this sessions.

The session will be part presentation looking at Native Pea Identification, a case study of Clover Glycine restoration efforts in Eltham, an introduction into survey techniques and data capture using GPS App, Avenza, and part Q&A.

To register your interest, please use this link: https://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/See-Do/Events/Events-Activities/Clover-Glycine-Webinar

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Free carbon farming webinar

Join the Director of Carbon Farmers of Australia, Louisa Kiely online as she discusses carbon farming which is about reducing emissions, while increasing production and sequestering of carbon in the landscape. 

Over three consecutive Thursday’s starting 24 September, Louisa will explore how you can reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from your property and capture and hold carbon in your vegetation and soils. 

This free workshop is being run by Upper Campaspe Landcare Network and supported by Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

Click here for more information and to register.

More good news

Wombat Forestcare – September 2020 Newsletter

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.

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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 News – March Working Bee

Sunday 22 March Working Bee @ Ruby McKenzie Reserve

Our next Sunday working bee will be held in the vicinity of Ruby Mckenzie Reserve in Tennyson St from 9am until 12pm on Sunday 22nd of March. We will assemble in the reserve alongside the Landcare blue tool trailer. Briefing for tasks will commence at 9am so try to to get there a bit before then.

Tasks include whipper snipping around plant guards, woody weed control and the removal of a large seedling plum tree. A trailer would be handy if someone has one available. Some of the work areas are fairly rough so wear full length clothing, garden gloves, eye protection, sun protection and sturdy footwear. Bring secateurs if you own a pair.

Newcomers are very welcome and morning tea will be provided. Past plantings and weed control by Landcare have really transformed the Black Gum habitat in this area so come along and help us continually improve this site. For further information contact woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

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Cool Changes – District 3442

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is facilitating the development of a community climate change action plan for the wider district of Woodend (covered by postcode 3442).

Following a community information forum last week, independent facilitators will run three workshops to guide the community to develop their own plan, effectively to be an umbrella over all levels of current or desirable action to address climate change.

The first workshop is next Monday 16 March, then there’ll likely be other workshops in mid April and mid May. Council are looking for participants of all ages from across the district. Everyone is welcome!

Register your interest here: https://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/See-Do/Events/Events-Activities/Cool-Changes-Woodend-district-3442

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More great local events

Click on the links to find out more about all these great local events coming up in the next month.

15 March – Riddells Creek Zero Waste Day

16 March – Moveable electric strip fencing demonstration day

21 March – Resilience of the Wombat Forest to changes in climate

23 March – Managing your stock water and farm dams

29 March – Chooks in my backyard

30 March – Managing your pastures in a changing climate

3 April – Nature Journaling Workshop

Various dates – NCCMA Regional Roundtables

More great reads

Wombat Forestcare Newsletter (51) March 2020

North Central CMA Landcare Chat – March 2020

Woodend Landcare News – January 2020

February Landcare Working Bee

9am-12pm | Sunday 23 February | Slatey Creek Reserve, Ashbourne Rd

Our first working bee for the year will kick off at the much loved Slatey Creek Reserve. It is a nice shaded site and there are plenty of smaller emerging blackberries, gorse and hawthorn to eradicate. The Hawthorns will be easier to see at this time of year as they will be in full leaf compared to the last couple of working bees at this site. With a good turnout we may even tackle some older self seeded fruit trees on the edges of the site.
Park in gravel no-through road along the east boundary of Slatey Creek Reserve. It is 1.4 km along Ashbourne Rd from the traffic lights. Please bring sturdy footwear, full-length protective clothing, gloves & eye protection. Our tool trailer will be on site and a tasty morning tea is provided. Non-members welcome.

For further details contact woodendlandcare@gmail.com

NOTE: The working bee will be cancelled in event of Total Fire Ban

Slatey Creek

Blackberry Control Workshop

10am-12pm | Saturday 1 February | Jubilee Hall, Smith Street, Macedon

Learn about blackberry management in a peri-urban environment and how to control this weed. There will be a Q and A session and some real examples to see in the township of Macedon. Organised by Macedon Ranges Shire Council, you can book online at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/blackberry-control-workshop-tickets-68230658737 

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Woodend Waterway Weed Workshop

9-11.30am | Sunday 16 February | Marsh Court Reserve, Marsh Court, Woodend

This workshop will provide landholders who have waterway frontage with the skills and knowledge to improve weed management along waterways. Organised by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA), the workshop  is an integral part of projects that are improving the health of waterways in the upper Campaspe and Coliban catchments.
Speakers include:
  • Ben Perry, Biosecurity Manager, Agriculture Victoria – Riparian weed identification and best practice control advice
  • Ashbourne Landcare’s Weed Action Group – local control efforts

Free coffee van and plenty of fact sheets/information will be available. Please BYO camp chairs. To register by 12 February 2019, go to EventBrite. For further information, please contact Angela Gladman on 5440 1825 or angela.gladman@nccma.vic.gov.au

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Healthy Landscapes for Healthy Livestock

The Macedon Ranges Shire Council is offering a free service for assisting landholders within the shire with their grazing of livestock. The advice and support follows Holistic/Regenerative farming principles. To book an appointment, contact Jason McAinch on 0455 210 436 or email jmcainch@mrsc.vic.gov.au.
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You Me & Biodiversity Talks

Wombat Forestcare invites you to enjoy two noteworthy speakers in 2020.
21 March: Resilience of the Wombat Forest to changes in climate with Professor Stefan Arndt (School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne)
20 June: Wildlife conservation in changing landscapes – a tangled tale of forest fragmentation, fire and fauna with Dr Holly Sitters. (School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne).
To register for your interest in these events, contact Wombat Forestcare via www.wombatforestcare.org.au or email info@wombatforestcare.org.au.
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Want to help start a Macedon Ranges Field Naturalist Group?

7pm-8pm | Tuesday 3 March | Woodend Community Centre, Forest Street
Are you interested in participating or leading citizen scientist programs in the Macedon Ranges?

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is investigating the idea of initiating a local Macedon Ranges Field Naturalist Group to help undertake flora and fauna monitoring in the local region. Join us at a public meeting to hear more detail about the types of activities that could be undertaken and how you can be involved.

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Conversations about Living and Connecting in Woodend

10.30am-12pm | Saturday 1st February | Woodend Library
Largely as a response to the horrific fires that engulfed large parts of Eastern Australia over the Christmas and New Year period a group of representatives from the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, the Anglican Church, SES, CFA, Woodend Neighbourhood House, Woodend Library, and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council have banded together to start a conversation with locals about how we can enhance our connections and be better prepared for future disasters, predominately but not restricted to bushfires. You are invited to contribute your thoughts or pose questions at the Woodend Library on the Woodend Farmers Market Day.

Landcare-specific bushfire relief appeal

Landcare Victoria Inc. (LVI) advise that Landcare Australia, in conjunction with the National Landcare Network, has announced a Landcare-specific appeal to assist with longterm recovery. Information is also provided on the positive role Landcare plays in recovery.
LVI has the following advice for those looking to offer volunteer time. “Most landcare volunteers will be local, however volunteers who are outside of those areas can
register at: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/volunteerhow-you-can-help-support-landcare-groups-and-othercommunity-groups. This is intended to capture current
enthusiasm that can be directed to long-term recovery.”
You can find out more at https://landcareaustralia.org.au/donations-2/ Landcare Victoria Inc. can be contacted via (03) 9207 5527 or info@lvi.org.au.

Woodend Landcare – November News

Final working bee of the year – Sunday 24 November

Our next Sunday working bee will be held on the 24th of November with an earlier than normal start at 8.30 am. The plan is to finish early and have an end of year morning tea at about 11 am.

The location is Ruby Mackenzie Park at the end of Anne Road. Parking is at the end of Anne Rd or in Tennyson St. Look for the working bee sign and the blue works trailer. This is an area where Woodend Landcare has done some recent plantings and it is time to get rid of some emerging blackberries and whipper-snip grass around our young plants.

Please wear sturdy footwear, full length protective clothing and bring along eye protection, gloves and secateurs if you have them. Morning tea is provided and newcomers are welcome. Contact woodendlandcare@gmail.com for further information.

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Our final Sunday session of the year is just as much about morning tea than working bee – its a important thanks for the huge effort of all our volunteers throughout the year. 

Biolink Walk in Ashbourne – Saturday 16th November

As part of the Áshbourne Landcare’s Biolinks project, they have contracted an ecologist, Damien Cook, to lead a walk on three properties on the afternoon of Saturday 16th November, to see examples of a variety of biolinks, look at plants, and have any questions answered.  They will meet at the first property at 2 pm, and finish with afternoon tea at the third property.  Details of the properties will be provided before the event to those who have responded.

Wear clothing (including a hat) and footwear appropriate for the weather and terrain and be aware that there may be snakes about.  Interested? Please RSVP to Ian Temby at iantemby@hotmail.com if you can come and for further details.

bush blockBuilding on a Bush Block

7.30 pm | 14 November | Woodend Neighbourhood House

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is hosting an informative evening where you can learn about building in a forest environment, Council’s planning requirements and approaches to sustainable building design.

CLICK HERE for more info and to book.