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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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.

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More Landcare news to note:

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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.

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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 – 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