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

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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

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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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Woodend Landcare – August 2021 News

TONIGHT! Grassland Talk and AGMMonday 16 August 2021

A reminder that our AGM and talk are being held online tonight, Monday 16 August at 7.30pm. Email woodendlandcare@gmail.com for the zoom meeting link.

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.

Woodend Grassland Reserve by Hubert Weisrock

Working BeeSunday 22 August 2021 maximum of 10 adults

Our Working Bees start back this month on Sunday 22 August from 9am-12pm. This month we will meet at the Five Mile Creek embankment on Campaspe Dr near Heron St. Please park in Campaspe Park (over the creek from Bowling Club).

Please bring gumboots, waterproof clothing, own gloves, secateurs & eye protection. For this event, please also bring own morning tea. We’ll be cutting, painting and hand-weeding emerging woody weeds below the embankment. We will also look to work in the area opposite the Children’s Park.

Important – Due to strict limit of 10 adults, please RSVP attendance (email woodlandcare@gmail.com) in advance. When you arrive, please use the QR code near the tool trailer to check in.  

Please check our Facebook page for any late cancellations due to weather or Covid. Any questions, email us at woodendlandcare@gmail.com.

Five Mile Creek near the Campaspe Drive embankment

Box of Habitat Update

Recipients will be pleased to know that they are close to receiving their long awaited Boxes of Habitat.

Most of the orders from Tree Project have now been picked up. It was a pleasure to meet Kalai Shaw and Suelin Haynes – who are the coordinators of the volunteers growing our order (pictured below). These volunteers have been growing our seedlings all year and include members from Caulfield Gardening Club and a women’s refuge center in St Kilda.

Tree Project is a amazing program to be part of. If you would like to find out more, visit the Tree Project website here. They are now looking for growers and landholders to order for 2022.

Our boxes of habitat will be mixed and distributed as soon as our order from Western Plains Flora arrives. Helpers to mix the boxes are most welcome – let Krista know if you can.

After the storm, we were lucky enough to source an extra 500 plants which meant we could give out a additional 16 boxes of plants. Most of these have gone to people who missed out earlier and to properties that were badly impacted by the storms. The boxes looked great (see pic below), however the boxes coming soon will be even more diverse. A big thanks to Raina Kilner for the plants and to Jen Firestone for helping deliver and mix up the boxes.

Shall we do it again 2022?

We are thinking about offering this Box of Habitat program again. It would be good to know the level of interest before we commit. If you are keen in being involved and planting some habitat next year, please email woodendlandcare@gmail.com or call Krista on 0408 204 449.

Note that, if we go ahead, there will likely be some adjustments to the program including the price and timing. We want to ensure we get plants at the best time for planting and that we fully cover the costs involved. We are also open to any feedback from those involved this year.

Community Grant Success! Five Mile Creek Masterplan

We are pleased to share the we have been successful in obtaining a Council community grant for the development of a Masterplan for Five Mile Creek. A masterplan will help Woodend Landcare and Council work together to enhance Woodend Five Mile Creek over the next ten years or more.

It will guide habitat restoration projects, support grant applications and inform infrastructure needs to improve the passive recreation and access to the creek for a broad range of users. Most importantly for Woodend Landcare, the masterplan will ensure future actions have the best ecological outcome for the creek and its surrounds and will ensure this work is supported by the local community.

Development of a masterplan for the creek and its environs was a key action in the recent community climate action plan developed for Woodend, and in the broader Five Mile Creek project being developed with North Central Catchment Management Authority.

We are keen to get started on this exciting project and will encourage lots of input when the time comes. *watch this space*

Healthy Landscapes Program

Readers may be interested in the following programs about regenerative agricultural practices to help you improve your land, soil, water and livestock in the shires of Macedon Ranges, Hepburn and City of Greater Bendigo:

  • Individual, free, on-farm advice
  • Webinars, workshops and field days
  • Holistic Grazing Management short course
  • Farmer discussion group

Click here to find out more about the program and to register your interest.

The program has a newsletter covering upcoming events, interesting tips and other ways to be involved in the regenerative farming world – subscribe to the newsletter here.

Draft Updated Environment Strategy

You are invited to share your feedback on Council’s updated Environment Strategy.

The previous Environment Strategy was adopted in 2016 and since that time, Council has delivered most of the strategy’s actions such as preparation of a Biodiversity Strategy, Climate Change Action Plan and Waste and Resource Recovery Strategy.

The vision and key principles from the original strategy have been retained, and the updated strategy responds to a range of emerging priorities identified by the community through previous engagement processes. It is also aligned with Council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency, the development of technologies in the energy sector, and changes at a state and national level to legislation and environmental priorities.

Feedback is invited until Friday, 10 September and can be submitted via an online survey or to environment@mrsc.vic.gov.au.

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

Working Bee – Sunday 18 April at Quarry Rd Reserve

Many Woodend residents have admired the wildflowers growing along Quarry Rd Rail Reserve over Spring. Now it is time to undertake some woody weed removal and help this important site thrive. 
 
Woodend Landcare’s April working bee will be held at the Quarry Rd Rail Reserve this Sunday 18 April from 9 am until 12 pm.  We will focus on removing gorse and broom which are a persistent problem along the reserve requiring regular attention. We will start by checking over the best wildflower area near the intersection of Washington Lane and Quarry Rd and will then progress along the reserve in an easterly direction.
 
Come find out where the best wildflowers will appear in Spring and Summer. Bring gloves, protective eyewear, secateurs and wear full length old clothes and sturdy footwear. The best place to park is along Washington Lane. Please register your interest at woodendlandcare@gmail.com and any possible changes due to Covid restrictions or weather will be notified. 
 
Residents living nearby and any newcomers to Landcare are very welcome to join us for some quite easy hands-on work, enjoy our usual high quality morning tea, and help preserve this special native plant diversity found so close to the centre of our town.
 
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