Newsletter AUGUST 2017 | www.BellarineLandcare.org.au
Bellarine Landcare Group Newsletter
The Bellarine Landcare Group (BLG) aims to preserve, protect and enhance the natural environment of the Bellarine Peninsula.
More great work from Sophie, Louise and Kate has resulted in a $15,000 grant for a Koala (and other wildlife) corridor.
Its final location is yet to be decided, but it's all about connections. Making it easier for Koalas, birds and other wildlife to access their natural habitat and food sources more easily.
Indeed a national policy exists where North - South corridors are actively being encouraged by parks and reserves authorities. By using private and public land, serious attempts are being made to link Australia North to South, allowing natural migration of birds and other wildlife.
Wildlife resilience is the aim. This will be especially important over future decades when the climate will alter from its current patterns. Wildlife will continue to seek the habitat best for them, and linking habitats provides the best chance for long-term survival.
So in "thinking local, we are acting global".
If you want see more information on this, please google: North South Wildlife Corridors Australia or copy and paste one or more of the following links:
Gorse - BLG ARCH NEMISIS!
It’s a joy to drive the Bellarine roadsides and see and smell the wattle in flower! One can observe the succession of wattles blossoming – first the Sweet wattle (Acacia suaveolens) in June, followed by the Golden Wattle (A. pycnantha) – now showing it’s vibrant colour, then the Black Wattle (A. mearnsii), later the Blackwood (A. melanoxylon) and lastly the Lightwood (A. implexa).
Spring is here at last!
But amongst the Golden Wattle flowers we can observe other, not so welcome, flowerings of the Gorse or Furze and the Flax-leaf Broom – invasive weeds to the Bellarine.
Gorse, in particular, is a scourge on the Bellarine’s landscape, introduced as it was from England as hedging in the very early days of farming. It has the ability to infest areas making them impenetrable monocultures – a characteristic which for some reason was not evident in its native environment of western Europe.
The Landcare Group has long had its sights on encouraging and supporting the control of the Gorse. Persistence is the key, as seeds of this shrub are long-lived, existing in the soil for many years (up to 50 years) after the parent plant has been removed. And there can be as many as 100 million seeds per ha in the soil! So, treatment must be on-going.
The Landcare Group recently applied for and received $6,500 from the Gorse Task Force to support private landholders committed to ongoing control of the weed in cases where they need some advice and a little financial incentive to undertake the work.
While most of these funds are now committed, we are keen to hear from any landholders who have gorse, are committed to its removal, but would like to receive a bit of a help along with the job.
It would be great to drive the Bellarine and enjoy just the yellow flowers which belong! Getting rid of Gorse is definitely achievable, and so we’d like to encourage everyone to be vigilant against this Nemesis of biodiversity and agriculture productivity on the Bellarine.
For more information about Gorse and Gorse managerment:
If you are interested in this Grant please contact the Facilitator, Sophie Small on 0457 333 727.
Landcare Week Planting day with Special Guest Speaker!
Bellarine Landcare Group will celebrate Landcare Week, 4 - 10 September, by inviting the community to a planting day on the 8 September, 10 am – 1:30 pm, 275 Bawtree Road, Leopold. We will help the landholders, Kym and Paul Tyzack plant 500 indigenous seedlings to create a nature corridor for the local birdlife.
Special guest, Craig Morely from the Geelong Field Naturalists Club, will talk about how revegetation attracts our wonderful native birdlife. Craig has been studying and surveying the local birdlife for 40 years and will share his extensive experience with participants over a barbeque lunch.
The funds to support this revegetation project have been provided as part of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority Landcare Grant 2016-2017 which aims to support landholders to ‘green the Bellarine’ with indigenous vegetation. Hope you can make it!
by Cathy McDermott, The Gordon TAFE CLM Work Placement student
Events past and upcoming
August was another busy month -
and September -
More can be seen on the BLG website calendar.
Calling for HelpBLG would like to know if you can help with propagating plants in our nursery, walking and weeding along the Rail trail, planting Indigenous plants on properties where the BLG is providing plants. Please don't hesitate to contact our facilitator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BLG collaborates with the Bellarine Secondary College to run the nursery and the Landcare production component has continued to be successful.
The nursery is open Monday, Tuesday and by appointment as well as open on the last Sunday of each month.
We now have durable Bellarine Landcare Group signs available for purchase at $20 - the attractive accessory for every Landcare member's front gate! You can purchase at the Information Meetings, or by contacting Sophie 0457 333 727.
Now is the time to keep your eyes open for a new invader to the Bellarine!
It's the African Weed Orchid, a small non-threatening looking plant with potenital to spread like wildfire.
It's the only weedy orchid species we have in Australia, and it's widespread in parts of Western Victoria, threatening biodiversity of remnant grasslands and taking over from our wonderous array of native orchids.
The trick is to get it before it seeds in December. If you think you have it please let us know and we'll check it out for you.
For more information follow the link:
A successful Bellarine Blitz was held at Kimberley and Tom's in Wallington. Many plantings, kids, dogs, volunteers and a weather perfect day made the event go along very smoothly.
A bbq lunch served from the back of Tom's ute ended the project nicely, thanks to Tom and Kimberley for their hospitality.
We are also grateful to Jono Haines for his great aerial photos of planting sites. They will form interesting and informative reference points from which to compare the sites as they change over time.
As some of you would know Bellarine Landcare Group has a new innovative project in conjunction with Bellarine Community Health and our Rail Trail partners to consult and create a health and wellbeing trail along the Rail Trail, radiating from Drysdale station.
We think there are lots of improvements which could be made to the Trail to make it more interesting for users.
We have received some funding to improve distance markers, develop information signs and place some seating along the trail. We would love to hear what you'd like to see on the Rail Trail.
What stories should we share ….?
Please fill in this survey to share your ideas.
Thank-you, Kate Lockhart.
BLG is consulting with Rail Trail stakeholder such as the Friends of Bellarine Rail Trail, to talk about improvemets to the Trail. Pictured here (sideways sorry) are FoBRT Committee members, Warren Long and Peter Butcher with the sign at Curlewis.