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.

new landcare signs

More Landcare news to note:

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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.

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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 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.

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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