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.
It's Good News Week!
Awards from Parliament House
30th Anniversary Dinner
30th Anniversary Dinner - What a Night!
We couldn't let the opportunity for a party slip by so on Friday 11 November, Bellarine Landcare members and friends gathered to celebrate Landcare's 30 Anniversary with a dinner at the Curlewis Golf Course.
Eight-five of us, dressed with a touch of floral or feral - a few decked out in Grandma's endangered species furs - enjoyed a delicious meal and a presentation spanning some of the highlights of Landcare's history on the Bellarine. Kate Lockhart did a stella job of entertaining us with her roving commentary and awarding Certificates to some of our BLG stalwarts for their contributions down the years.
Locals donated their wonderful produce to the meal and we thank them sincerely - Drysdale Cheeses, Mason's Creek Olives, Tuckerberry Hill's strawberries, and Marcus Hill Winery. Thanks to Curlewis Golf Course for their delicious meal and great service, the helpers who did a fantastic job with the flowers, and the Corangamite CMA for their Grant to make the evening possible. Special thanks to Kate Lockhart for organising the evening.
K5 Virus Release
Rabbit Action News
A lot is happening in the world of rabbits, apart from the obvious breeding frenzy in paddocks and roadsides around the Bellarine.
BLG received news from the Government's Invasive Animals team that our application to release the K5 has been successuful. There is a total of 4 Bellarine release sites scheduled for the first week of March - two of them managed by BLG. We will work with landholders to do pre and post release surveys of rabbit numbers and tissue sample collections. For more information on the K5 go to http://www.pestsmart.org.au/boosting-rabbit-biocontrol-rhdv-k5-national-release/
To support the K5 release, we are encouraging all landholders to get out and control their rabbits. At this time of year actions include mapping of warrens using Rabbit Scan, ripping of warrens and fumigation of warrens. The K5 is only going to kill a maximum 30% of rabbits so it is up to the community to knock down the numbers prior to the release in March and then again in the months following the release. During the release we will be coordinating the distribution of freshly deceased rabbits infected with the K5, for maximum efficacy.
A RABBIT CONTROL FIELD DAY will be held in mid February, Sunday 19 (To be confirmed), at the Marcus Hill Hall, with discussions around the K5, coordination of distribution of infected deceased rabbits, and demonstrations of essential control techniques such as destruction of warrens. Stay tuned for more information, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in being involved.
BLG has been meeting with COGG, Parks Vic and other land managers across the Bellarine to start coordinating rabbit control efforts. We are optimistic that this approach will lead to a more effective on-ground strategy.
And finally, a big congratulations to Geoff McFarlane for receiving the National Pest Smart Award for leading the way in community rabbit control. We are proud of you, Geoff, thanks for your fantastic work!
Award for RabbitScan
The Bellarine Rabbit Group has been encouraging landholders to help record the location of rabbits on the Peninsula. The GIS mobile phone program makes for easy mapping of the warrens and better planning of activities. We have used the recordings to increase awarness of the rabbit problem. Now we are pleased to report the success of the program being recognised by the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy at the Banksia Foundation 2016 Awards.
Our picture shows Invasive Animals CRC CEO Andreas Glanznig with Feral Scan program manager, Peter West, receiving the Minister’s award for a Cleaner Environment in the field of Research and Science excellence.
Peter was humbled to receive the award on behalf of all the program partners, stakeholders and users. “Thanks to the strong support from our stakeholders, communities and individuals all around Australia, the FeralScan program has collated more than 65,000 new community records about pest animals, and has been used by over 25,000 Australians."
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).
BLG Breakup - Goodbye 2016!
Come along and catch up with everyone on Wednesday 14 December, 6:30 pm, at the Bellarine Secondary College and Bellarine Landcare Group Nursery.
Celebrate a successful year of events and contributions towards the biodiversity of our Bellarine home. We will have photos from the year's events. A light meal will be provided by the CWA. Please BYO Drinks.
Weed & Walk - Mon 5 Dec, 5:30 pm - 6:30pm, Bellarine Rail Trail, Andersons Rd
Beth Ross & friends will continue regenerating the flora of Bellarine Rail Trail. Wear clothes appropriate for the weather conditions and BYO gardening gloves. Call Beth if you have questions or to confirm in case of bad weather. All ages and abilities welcome. Contact Beth 0428124363
Bellarine Blitz - Wed 14 Dec, 10 am - 12 noon, 650 Wallington Rd, Wallington.
We will join Liddy Nevile to collect native grass seeds along her creek, so it will be a great opportunity to learn to distinguish weedy grasses from native grasses.
BLG Christmas Party - Wed 14 Dec, 6:30 pm at the Nursery.
No December Information Meeting, instead a break-up party will be held at Bellarine Secondary College and Bellarine Landcare Group Nursery. Light meal provided by the CWA. Slide show of photos of events from a fun and rewarding year protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the Bellarine.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with numbers and dietary requirements. Hope to see you there!
Weed, Walk and Talk, Wed 19 Dec, 5:30 pm, Bellarine Rail Trail, Swan Bay Rd
Wear clothes appropriate for the weather conditions and BYO gardening gloves. Call Beth if you have questions or to confirm in case of bad weather. All ages and abilities welcome.
Contact Beth Ross 0428124363
BLG Information Meeting, Wed 8 Feb, 7:30 pm, Marcus Hill Hall
At the first meeting for 2017, Rod Thomas from COGG Environment and Waste Unit will join us to talk about COGG projects.
Rabbit Control Field Day, Sun 19 Feb, Marcus Hill Hall (TO BE CONFIRMED)
Join us to learn about rabbit control techniques, including the release of the K5 virus in March, and how you can assist with its spread. There will be practical demonstrations of ripping of warrens.
Seed Collection Skills
Native Seed Workshop a Hit
Beth Ross shared her extensive experience of seed collection with a group of twenty-seven eager students on 30th November.
We met at the Nursery to learn about the sexual life of plants, how seeds are created, and knowing when they are ripe and how to collect them in an ethical way. In the afternoon we went out to the Ocean Grove Nature Reserve to gain some practical experience. It was a fabulous day of learning, thanks to Beth Ross for all the work she put in, and the Swan Bay Environment Association who helped make it happen with a generous donation. Thanks to the Gordon TAFE for photocopying the booklets and the Bellarine Catchment Network for their ongoing support of Bellarine Landcare projects.
Another great year ...
The trigger plants are in flower and are quite spectacular. The nursery has a good stock of these, A small clump will add interest to a corner of your garden. The grass trigger plant, Stylidium gramminifolium, is widespread across Eastern Australia, and is a neat little plant in terms of gardening.
The volunteers are busy planting seeds and striking cuttings for stock that can be planted out next autumn. Volunteers have also made a new gateway into the adjacent bush patch to give easier access to the picnic table and seats there. The toilet refurbishment is nearly complete, with Lino that looks like hardwood ! And of course a fresh coat of paint.
The BSC Year 11 project of lining the potting shed is under way and the first frames are in place. This will take the lining up to ceiling height, and we are applying for grants to do the coiling as this will require tradespeople to work on it rather than students.
We are also reorganising the parking at the nursery, so that access to the equipment and canoe shed is open, and there is room for trailers etc to be moved easily. So our cars will be angled on the left side going towards the nursery or parallel parked on the nursery fence side.
Thanks to our volunteers for the work this year; the nursery looks great and has an increasing number of species and total number of plants. We have about 200 species of indigenous Bellarine plants on sale at the moment. The future is looking good, and we are looking at opening some Saturday mornings towards the end of summer, probably on the first Saturday of the month.
Thanks to David and Beth who have kept the nursery going so well through this time of change.
Happy holidays to all.
Nursery Closing over January
and SOS! Please boomerang your pots!
The BSC & BLG Nursery is closing from 19 December to 1st of February. Our Nursery Manager, David Heath, will be out collecting seed for next year's propagation over this period, and can be contacted on the Nursery mobile 0439 392 369.
SOS! If you have any pots and trays lingering in your shed, please return them by bringing them to the BLG Christmas party on Wed 14, or placing them neatly over the fence if the Nursery is not open. The Nursery spends scarce funds purchasing new trays and pots every year - so we would really appreciate if you could return them for reuse.
And finally, the Nursery is seeking funds to help with the project to insulate and line the ceiling of the propagation shed. We would love your support - please visit the donations section of our website on our homepage.
Bellarine Blitz - past and future
Removing Blue-bell Creeper
Ray and Maralyn Roberts of Maddens Lane hosted a November Blitz on their bush block which they've called home since the 1970s.
Twelve people turned out to tackle Blue-bell Creeper, a WA native garden escapee which has become an environmental weed in Victoria.
The best tecnique for removing this plant is 'cut and paint' - cutting the base of the creeper and painting it with herbicide. After a couple of hours of work, Ray rewarded us with a deliciious bbq lunch. Thanks to Ray and Maralyn and everyone who turned out for a relaxed and enjoyable morning.
The next and final Blitz for the year will be held at Liddy Nevile's property in Wallington on Wednesday 14 December 10 am to 12 noon. We will be collecting native grass seeds, so it will be a great opportunity to learn to distinguish weedy grass from native grass. RSVP: email@example.com.
If you would like to host a Blitz at your property in 2017, please don't hesitate to contact Sophie to schedule it.
South African Weed Orchid Alert!
Have you seen this plant?
At this point it's been found at only a handfull of locations on the Bellarine, so we are urging you to keep your eyes peeled for this orchid. It is Australia's only weedy orchid and as each plant holds 100 of thousands of seeds, it has the ability to spread out and displace other ground flora.
If you think you have it, please contact Sophie. At this time of the year it is seeding so is too late to control - it should be physically avoided to minimise the spread of the tiny, wind-blown seeds, and a plan should be made for its control in early Spring 2017.