Newsletter September 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.
Celebrate Landcare on Nov 11
Many of us have been working to improve our natural environment and farmland throughout our lifetimes.
Diversity in thinking...
Aboriginal Caring for Land using Fire
Victor Steffensen has been learning and theaching about fire management of country for twenty years. He first learned from Elders in Cape York but has since carefully documented work all around Australia in his efforts to help heal and protect country.
Victor does not see fire as a threat but as an ally - he thinks of weeds as plants in country to which they don't belong, He focuses on the plants and animals that belong to country and works to provide for them indirectly making life less comfortable for things that are not in their rightful place.
Around Australia, many have embraced the use of fire for country maintenance and, at last, Victoria looks like joining them. A block of land near Ballarat has been given to the public and now is asking for relief from its past - use as a pine tree plantation and then neglect. Hopefully this land will be brought under the care of the original inhabitants of the land who are keen to care for it in the best way possible.
Victor works methodically: first talking about what might happen, then assessing the possibilities carefully, then doing the work, and finally checking the results - all four stages being documented carefully in video. Such work is exhausting - as can be seen from Victor's face in the photo to the right.
Join our crowd-funders now!
Critical insulation for our Nursery propagation shed
Recently we received a COGG grant to start to insulate and line the walls of the propagation shed - a project in cooperation with Bellarine Secondary College Year 11 Building students, who will do the construction.
Our Nursery volunteers have coped with heat and cold for years now but we want to make life easier for them. We still need funds to cover the lining of the ceiling. If you can help, by contributing to our crowd-funding activty, please act now. Simply go to our donation page and make a cash contribution.
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 (email@example.com).
Achievements of Local Landcare
What's to Celebrate after 30 years?
Ever wondered just what can be done by Landcare Groups? Browsing through project reports suggests almost anything is possible.
Read about many people who have contributed over the years at https://www.landcarevic.org.au/groups/corangamite/corangamite-landcare-program/faces-of-landcare-celebrating-30-years-of-landcare/. Check out a number of projects from across Victoria at https://www.landcarevic.org.au/projects/ or see just how many different groups are at work at https://www.landcarevic.org.au/groups/
For news about activities closer to home (the Bellarine), you can check out the website of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority at http://www.ccma.vic.gov.au/Home.aspx
Fauna Survey with the Geelong Field Naturalist Club
Fauna discoveries on the Bellarine
The Geelong Field Nats surveyed remnant woodland in Marcus Hill belonging to Peter and Brenda Smith over three nights in October They made some delightful discoveries.
Numerous Little Forest Bats and Southern Forest Bats were recorded, many different bird species, a single introduced rat (not so exciting) but the real gem - a koala hanging out in the Coastal Manna Gums!
Someone must have told Mr Koala the survey was happening,. He (we think it was a he because of his small ears) turned up on just the right day to be counted!
The data recorded by the GFNC is contributed to the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife which documents the populations of fauna. Interestingly when we looked at the Atlas records, we found there were only 5 reports of koalas on the Bellarine Peninsula, the first record in 1945 and the last record was in 1995 - an absence of records which shows the importance of the GFNC survey work which ensures data is logged with Atlas.
Locals say that koalas used to be regularly spotted in this bushland and would travel down Princess St to the Basin Reserve. How wonderful if we could provide more habitat for all these species - the bats and the birds and the koalas.
Apart from enhancing our life no end with the joy of their presence, the animals also provide us with unseen benefits - for example those fiesty little bats, weighing around 6 gms can consume up to 2000 insects an hour, or half their body weight in one night - and that includes mozzies! I reakon we could do with more micro bats on the Peninsula.
Thanks to Trevor Pescott and the GFNC for their work and sharing their knowledge so generously. See more about the group at http://www.gfnc.org.au/
Be part of the Wader Count!
Wader Quest is a charity that aims to get more people directly involved in wader conservation through Community Wader Conservation projects, or indirectly as a Friend or Sponsor of Wader Quest. November 5 & 6 is an opportunity to record any wader species seen and submit them to the UK based Waderquest for the annual world-wide wader weekend.
You do not have to diligently count numbers for this event, just species seen while out and about. Last year 124 species were seen worldwide and good feedback will be provided. It gives a great global perspective to these wonderful birds without having to spend hours diligently counting in detail. They encourage more detailed counts to be submitted to eBird or similar if a more thorough count is undertaken.
It is a bit of fun and continues to raise awareness of the global plight of so many of our shorebirds. See more at http://www.waderquest.org/2016/10/wader-conservation-world-watch-third.html
What's Coming Up?