What's New in May 2019

BCLN E-news

Hello to all of our Landcare members, partners, sponsors and friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network and welcome to the May edition of our E-news. 

This edition gathers together some great upcoming events, recently announced funding opportunities and follows up on recent events held across your local area.

Do we dare say that our Autumn break is here? Hopefully you get to read this newsletter to the sound of rain on your roof!

For all the latest updates follow us on Facebook by clicking here and if you haven't already, give us a like and follow our page!




Gorse Field Day - Tuesday 14th of May

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce are running a series of field days across Victoria, and we are lucky to have one on Phillip Island. This event will be held at the Southern end of Gap Road, opposite the GP track, and will present best practice gorse removal and discuss the upcoming grants program. This is a great opportunity to learn the most current effective control methods, food and drinks are provided.

Click here for more information and to register for this field day.


River Garden Volunteers gathering on the second Wednesday of each month

We welcome interested Volunteers to come along for a couple of hours on the second Wednesday of the month where general activities including planting, weeding and harvesting (like the great crop of sweet potatoes pictured above) will be conducted to help maintain this great community space. This session will run before our Community Corrections Crew arrives. Volunteers will be led through a simple induction process on their first visit, learn about growing healthy nutritional food and be involved in shaping the future direction of the River Garden. There's plenty of scope to set up new growing areas for motivated people with great ideas and enthusiasm! Meet like-minded people, learn from each other by doing and contribute to a great community project.
If this sounds like something you want to be involved in please click here to register your interest in this Volunteer program.


‘Our City in Nature’ Event – 21 May 2019 

A joint event between the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning – this special forum will focus on Melbourne and its relationship with local flora and fauna and feature a great range of speakers and engaging activities.

Click here for more information and to register.

Reconciliation week activities in Bass Coast

Join in on events being held across Bass Coast in National Reconciliation Week and move forward creating a community strengthened by reconciliation and recognition. Events include a Community gathering at the Nobbies Centre on Phillip Island on Sunday 26th of May including special guest Kutcha Edwards who will be performing a few songs and sharing his story, and a Welcome and Flag raising ceremony at the Cowes Cultural Centre on Tuesday 28th of May.

These events are supported by Bass Coast Shire Council, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Bass Coast South Gippsland Reconciliation Group. For more details please see: 

www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/reconciliation  or www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week​​


Soil Carbon Demonstration Field Day at Bimbadeen

Come along and learn about the methodology used by Bimbadeen farm on Phillip Island to grow soil carbon, learn more about the soil carbon coring process and listen to Drift Media talk about the innovative use of new drone technology being trialled on site to monitor soil carbon indicators such as soil moisture and plant health.  This day will be held on Wednesday 29th May from 10.30am to 2.30pm.  RSVP essential. 

For all details and to book your place please click here.


Landcare Victoria Inc. AGM - 29 May 2019

All members and stakeholders are invited to the 2019 LVI AGM. To be held at 10.30am at the Monash University Law Chambers, Level 2, 555 Lonsdale St Melbourne on 29th of May. Lucinda Corrigan, Chair of Farmers for Climate Action will be the Keynote speaker. Lucinda runs a large multi-property cattle genetics enterprise with her husband in the Murray Valley and has a long involvement in local Landcare. Lucinda’s leadership has been recognised by the National Climate Change and Research facility as the 2012 Climate Adaption Champion and is Commissioner of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

For more information and to RSVP (essential) please click here.


Phillip Island Tree planting calendar confirmed for 2019

Phillip Island Landcare group have set their Community Tree planting dates for 2019. There will be days held in each month from June to September across Phillip Island. Plantings start at 10am and include a free BBQ lunch. As an added bonus the new PILG planting trailer will be ready for the planting season with hot drinks, seating, shelter and portable toilet. Planting in style!!!

If you would like a copy of the flyer for your fridge, please click here for further information on how you can get involved.


Birdlife Bass Coast outing at Archies Creek

Save the 10th August for a Bass Coast Bird Life outing at Archies creek where you can get to know the birds in your local area. The time is 10am - noon and the meeting place will be at the Archies Creek Hall, 97 Archies Creek Road. For more information Contact: Dallas 0428 764 903 or email [email protected]


Bunnies set to boil again in 2020

The Phillip Island Landcare committee has made the decision to hold the very popular Bunny Boiler event bi-annually. On each alternative year they will hold a Landcare Dinner. The next Bunny Boiler will be in 2020 and later this year they are planning to host the first bi -annual Dinner, watch this space for details to be announced over the coming months.

For all newsletters and updates from the Phillip Island Landcare Group please click here.



Environment Minister and Local MP Announce Landcare Funding

Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio MP and State Labor Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale MP announced Facilitator Funding and Victorian Landcare Grants on Friday the 3rd of May, followed by a walk through Paul Speirs' property. Thanks to all the Bass Coast Landcare Network volunteers for helping out with the organisation of the event.

See the below section on Grants and Opportunities for more details on how to apply for this funding. 


Charles Massey Regenerative Farming Workshop

On the 8th of May Bass Coast Landcare Network and the South Gippsland Landcare Network were privileged to host Charles Massy, author of the book, 'Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture- A New Earth'.

Charles spoke to over 80 people at a Regenerative agriculture workshop at Poowong about the challenges facing farmers globally, particularly around changing climates, healthy soils, water security and biodiversity. His key message was about the increasingly important role regenerative agriculture can play in developing solutions to all these challenges.

Charles spoke with passion and insight and all those in the audience left with a sense of inspiration and hope for the future. This workshop is a part of a series of workshops being funded through the Smart Farming in Westernport Project. Pictured are L-R Libby Anthony, Chair of South Gippsland Landcare Network, Joel Geoghegan from Bass Coast Landcare Network, Charles Massey, Ric Oldham, Chair of Bass Coast Landcare network and Cassie Wright from South Gippsland Landcare Network. 

For information on future events around Bass Coast please click here to get to our News and Events page. 


Chilly Day for a Farm Walk

A successful Grazfert farm walk was held late in April on a cold, wet and windy day in Bass Coast. This farm walk was a follow up to our recently completed Grazfert workshops. Thanks to all this who braved our first taste of winter. Some great discussion was had, and knowledge shared.

Thank you to John Lancaster and Camilla Graves for hosting us today on their two properties. Thank you also to John Bowman from Agriculture Victoria for sharing his knowledge and expertise.

This farm walk was funded through the Smart Farming in Westernport Project, jointly managed by the PPWCMA and the Bass Coast Landcare Network 

For updates on future Training opportunities please click here.


Kongwak Hills Changing Landscape

Kongwak Hills Landcare is continuing to change the landscape in the Bass Hills. Our photo shows previously open pastures protected by shelter belts, eroding gullies returned to bush land, and dams fenced off from stock. Look out for more Community Planting Days in our area this winter and early spring where you can help us to change and improve our landscape.​

Check out the Kongwak Hills Facebook by clicking here.

For the Kongwak Hills Landcare Group web page click here.


Innovation and 'Deer'versication at Terramirra Farm

A great farm walk at Terramirra Park Deer Farm was held last month. Jill and Michael Vella and their son Tim, welcomed us onto their farm to showcase their deer farm. A great day all round showcasing innovation and diversification in action. Visitors were taken through Jill and Michael's deer farming journey which started in 1980. Thank you to Jill, Micheal and Tim for a very informative day.

This farm walk was funded through the Smart Farming in Westernport Project, jointly managed by Westernport Catchment Landcare Network, South Gippsland Landcare Network, Bass Coast Landcare Network and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. 


World First for Soil Carbon Credits on Farms

A world first to be proud of happened in Gippsland recently, where the first carbon credits were issued for a soil carbon project under the Emissions Reduction Fund. These were received by Hallora farmers Niels and Marja Olsen and Corporate carbon under the ‘Grounds Keeping Carbon project’. With the help of the SoilKee Pasture Renovator, they combined aeration, top dressing, green manure, and mixed species seeding, to build up biodiversity in the pasture, increasing soil carbon effectively. The higher the soil carbon levels the more productive and healthier the farm which is great news for farmers worldwide.

“We believe SoilKee can deliver 15 carbon credits per hectare, so on a farm like the Olsen’s here, that equates to something like 1,500 soil carbon credits per annum or $15,000 of additional revenue to the farm over and above the improved productivity and if we mainstream this as an approach to agriculture in terms of greenhouse gas reductions, we are talking in the millions, even hundreds of millions of tons of reductions in Australia alone.” said Corporate Carbon Managing Director, Matthew Warnken. 'Not only will these soil carbon credits be the first to count towards Australia's national targets under The Paris Agreement, but they are the first soil credits worldwide to be eligible under Paris', said Matthew.

For more information, including the full story and video please click here.


Bees Back to Bass for Winter

Our remaining hive of bees is happy and healthy, according to our expert beekeeper Rob Fransen, who is currently caring for them following the recent loss of our other hive, and sickness within the remaining one. Rob is confident that we can bring our bees back to Bass for the Winter, while the hive is packed down and the bees don’t venture out, and then in Spring when the bees become active again, we will keep a very close eye on them with daily inspections so that if we start to see any signs of sickness, we can immediately relocate them.  We will look at replacing the lost hive as well, so that we have 2 again, a perfect amount of bees to run a monthly workshop!

On that note, keep an eye out for upcoming information about the next season of Beekeeping Masterclasses!

For more information and updates on future Master Classes (including Bee Keeping) at the River Garden please click here. 



Victorian  Landcare grants

The 2019/20 Victorian Landcare Grants are open to all Victorian Landcare and environmental volunteer groups/networks with a focus on on-ground activity and natural environment improvement work. Project Grants of up to $20,000 are available to eligible groups/networks for on-ground works to protect, enhance and restore natural assets (e.g. native flora/fauna, waterways/wetlands, soils), and for capacity building, community education and engagement projects.  Support Grants of $500 are available to eligible groups/networks to cover operating costs, e.g. insurance, incorporation, communications (e.g. websites or newsletters), events, and other types of operating costs.  Applications close: 5pm Wednesday 12 June 2019

For more information including Grant guidelines please click here for groups in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

For more information including Grant guidelines please click here for groups in the West Gippsland region. 

If you have any ideas, questions or would like assistance for your group to apply please call BCLN's Dave Bateman on (03)5678 2335.


Gallagher Landcare Fencing grants available

Eligible applicants across Australia are invited to apply for a Gallagher Landcare Fencing Grant. Projects that align with grazing management and/or conservation will be considered for grants of up to $8,000 (ex-GST) including fencing materials. Up to 12 grants will be awarded.

 To find out more about how to apply click here.

The Food Exchange Podcast Series - “Get the Dirt”

A podcast series specifically designed for land holders, farmers and growers. Listen to in-depth discussions on soil care with experts in land management, organic farming, biodynamics  and more. For further information or to listen go to - https://www.exchangefood.org/getthedirt



Pest Plant and Animal Works Update


The joined rabbit control program with Bass Coast Landcare Network and Phillip Island Nature Parks through Newhaven and Cape Woolamai is well underway. We started with spotlight counts over 3 consecutive nights which gave us an average total of 226 rabbits through our control areas (See attached photo). Following this we conducted Pindone baiting and warren mapping, next we will be fumigating the warrens before we finish up with some spotlight shooting. Once these control methods are completed, we will finish with another count over 3 consecutive nights to see how effective our control methods were. This is now our 4th year running this control program which has seen the numbers steadily dropping from 453 on our first count in March 2016.



We have completed our first two fox monitoring programs under the Biodiversity Response Planning (BRP) project. The first area monitored was the Gurdies (BCSC land) using 5 motion sensing cameras placed 200-300m apart, during this program no fox attracting lures were used. The monitoring ran from 19/02/19 to 08/03/19, during this time 4 out of 5 cameras picked up fox activity. The second area monitored was Peter Baird’s bush property in Wonthaggi where 12 cameras were set up 300m apart. This monitoring ran from 29/03/19 to 17/04/19, during this time 11 out of 12 cameras picked up fox activity. These monitoring efforts have given us a good idea of baiting and trapping locations for future control programs.

For more information and updates on Pest Plant and Animal matters, please click here.


Offset your car emissions in local planting projects!

If you feel passionate about the environment and want to do your bit for our beautiful native flora and fauna, why not consider offsetting your car emissions with Bass Coast Landcare Network? Just click on your car's size to make a donation, which will cover the planting of enough indigenous plants to offset your car’s emissions for a year.  You will also receive a great sticker for your car to show your commitment to the environment. 

To offset your car emissions with BCLN click here.​


Bass Coast Arc – Landcare Public Fund making projects a reality - Donate today to make a difference

The Bass Landcare Public Fund is a regional non-profit organisation focusing on conserving biodiversity throughout Bass Coast.​ The Bass Coast Arc – “Community Access to Public Space” concept supports community groups to work with public land managers to improve the environment of our public spaces and create appropriate access to these unique areas. Your contribution no matter how small, helps to protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes.

Click here to find out more about how you can assist this important work. ​​

What's your story?

We would love to hear from you and your Landcare group with stories and photos of what's been happening in your area and any suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at upcoming events and activities around Bass Coast.

Until next edition, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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